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  • Author: Zuzanna Piotrowicz x
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Abstract

During our studies concerning the isolation of sulfated polysaccharides (SPs) from freshwater algae species widespread in Poland, an improved overall extraction methodology has been developed. This new, multi-step procedure allows for obtainment of several fractions that could find use in cosmetic and food industries, with the final one containing the valuable SPs, important both from economic and scientific perspective. Moreover, the process allows for easy use of typical chelating agents to remove harmful heavy metal ions without important losses in natural compounds of interest. Furthermore, a material balance has been established for said process, allowing for its easier implementation on bigger scales, and highlighting the areas which could still be improved to positively affect the final time-cost ratio of the methodology. Combined with previously published information concerning the detailed composition of obtained fractions, we aim to provide a robust and informative outlook on the potential of native freshwater algae species as cheap, raw and easily purifiable resource, usable in a number of important industries. According to the mass balance, nearly 5 % of dry mass of Cladophora glomerata is extractable with ethanol and this fraction consists mostly of fatty acids, phenolics and pigments. Another 5 % of mass can be isolated as pure SPs from aqueous fraction. Additionally, calcium from natural incrustations on the surface of C. glomerata amounts to 17 % of dry material weight and can be reclaimed from acidic wash by simple precipitation; such calcium salts have garnered significant interest as nutritional supplements.

Abstract

‘Algae Service for LIFE’, the project supported by the European Union, seeks to promote best practices in ecological service and the circular economy by implementing innovative complex system of three interlinked elements: i) prototypes for harvesting of cyanobacteria and macroalgae biomass; ii) distant methods for surveying of the blooms and defining hot-spots of algal agglomerations; and iii) restitution of harvesting costs by redesigning of waste algal biomass into valuable products. The current paper describes application of algal biomass part of the project by providing actions in redesigning of harvested waste biomass of cyanobacteria and macroalgae into potential valuable products for sustainable management and recycling of environmental resources. It also highlights the socio-economic aspects of the project and added value of the project for the European Union.