Algae in Biotechnological Processes

  • Emilia Niemczyk
  • Beata Żyszka-Haberecht
  • Damian Drzyzga
  • Monika Lenartowicz
  • Jacek LipokEmail author
Part of the Developments in Applied Phycology book series (DAPH, volume 8)


As photoautotrophic organisms, algae possess all of the valuable features that determine their role as the primary producers in the biosphere. A wide range of tolerance based on their extremely efficient adaptation to biochemical processes, as well as the specific cellular structure of these organisms, when correlated with the ecological plasticity of microalgae in particular, predispose these biota to growing and developing under either laboratory or industrial conditions. Hence, the natural features of algae have opened wide the door for the multidirectional biotechnological use of these organisms, with a dynamically growing number of such applications fully supporting this thesis. Among the variety of examples, however, there are two main areas of activity that involve algae in biotechnological processes. The first has arisen historically out of the long tradition of the use of biomass of algae or algal isolates as a source of substances with qualities of interest. The second area is based on the impressive biochemical machinery of algae that are able to produce, de novo, a huge number of organic compounds, as well as transform all of them. This approach allows for the use of algae as effective biocatalysts. This chapter is composed of four short stories, two of which illustrate algae as a source of select valuable chemicals (phycobiliproteins, polyphenols) and the other two of which are dedicated to the biocatalytical abilities of those organisms to protect ecosystems against organic pollutants and transition metal ions.


Microalgae Cyanobacteria Natural products Biocatalysis Phycobiliproteins Polyphenols Organic pollutants Metal ions 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emilia Niemczyk
    • 1
  • Beata Żyszka-Haberecht
    • 1
  • Damian Drzyzga
    • 1
  • Monika Lenartowicz
    • 1
  • Jacek Lipok
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of ChemistryUniversity of OpoleOpolePoland
  2. 2.Faculty of Chemistry, Department of Analytical and Ecological ChemistryOpole UniversityOpolePoland

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