Effective harvesting of microalgae: Comparison of different polymeric flocculants

Yoram Gerchman*, Barak Vasker, Mordechai Tavasi, Yael Mishael, Yael Kinel-Tahan, Yaron Yehoshua

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Microalgae harvesting is a major hurdle in the use of microalgae for oil production. Here we describe the use of a standard cationic polymer used for water treatment, Polydiallyldimethylammonium chloride (PDADMAC), for sedimentation of Chlorella vulgaris and comparison of its flocculation properties with two other polymers, chitosan and Superfloc®. We found PDADMAC to be the most effective flocculant with 90% of the algae flocculating at concentrations as low as 5 mg/L within 60 min, and good activity even at pH = 10. Interestingly, with both PDADMAC and chitosan maximum flocculation was achieved much before zeroing of zeta potential. PDADMAC flocculation was also very effective in enhancing harvest by filtration and somewhat at flocculation and sedimentation of marine algae, Nannochloropsis salina.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • Biofuels
  • Filtration
  • Harvesting
  • Microalgae
  • Polymer
  • Sedimentation
  • Water reuse


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