Valorisation of algal biomass to value-added metabolites: emerging trends and opportunities

V. S. Uma, Zeba Usmani, Minaxi Sharma, Deepti Diwan, Monika Sharma, Miao Guo, Maria G. Tuohy, Charalampos Makatsoris, Xiaobin Zhao, Vijay Kumar Thakur, Vijai Kumar Gupta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
144 Downloads (Pure)


Algal biomass is a promising feedstock for sustainable production of a range of value-added compounds and products including food, feed, fuel. To further augment the commercial value of algal metabolites, efficient valorization methods and biorefining channels are essential. Algal extracts are ideal sources of biotechnologically viable compounds loaded with anti-microbial, anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous and several therapeutic and restorative properties. Emerging technologies in biomass valorisation tend to reduce the significant cost burden in large scale operations precisely associated with the pre-treatment, downstream processing and waste management processes. In order to enhance the economic feasibility of algal products in the global market, comprehensive extraction of multi-algal product biorefinery is envisaged as an assuring strategy. Algal biorefinery has inspired the technologists with novel prospectives especially in waste recovery, carbon concentration/sequestration and complete utilisation of the value-added products in a sustainable closed-loop methodology. This review critically examines the latest trends in the algal biomass valorisation and the expansive feedstock potentials in a biorefinery perspective. The recent scope dynamics of algal biomass utilisation such as bio-surfactants, oleochemicals, bio-stimulants and carbon mitigation have also been discussed. The existing challenges in algal biomass valorisation, current knowledge gaps and bottlenecks towards commercialisation of algal technologies are discussed. This review is a comprehensive presentation of the road map of algal biomass valorisation techniques towards biorefinery technology. The global market view of the algal products, future research directions and emerging opportunities are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhytochemistry Reviews
Early online date2 Mar 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Mar 2022


  • Algal biomass
  • Algal biomass valorisation
  • Algal metabolites
  • Biorefinery
  • Circular bioeconomy
  • Value added products


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