Perspective of Spirulina culture with wastewater into a sustainable circular bioeconomy

Hooi Ren Lim, Kuan Shiong Khoo, Kit Wayne Chew, Chih Kai Chang, Heli Siti Halimatul Munawaroh, P. Senthil Kumar, Nguyen Duc Huy, Pau Loke Show

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Spirulina biomass accounts for 30% of the total algae biomass production globally. In conventional process of Spirulina biomass production, cultivation using chemical-based culture medium contributes 35% of the total production cost. Moreover, the environmental impact of cultivation stage is the highest among all the production stages which resulted from the extensive usage of chemicals and nutrients. Thus, various types of culture medium such as chemical-based, modified, and alternative culture medium with highlights on wastewater medium is reviewed on the recent advances of culture media for Spirulina cultivation. Further study is needed in modifying or exploring alternative culture media utilising waste, wastewater, or by-products from industrial processes to ensure the sustainability of environment and nutrients source for cultivation in the long term. Moreover, the current development of utilising wastewater medium only support the growth of Spirulina however it cannot eliminate the negative impacts of wastewater. In fact, the recent developments in coupling with wastewater treatment technology can eradicate the negative impacts of wastewater while supporting the growth of Spirulina. The application of Spirulina cultivation in wastewater able to resolve the global environmental pollution issues, produce value added product and even generate green electricity. This would benefit the society, business, and environment in achieving a sustainable circular bioeconomy.

Original languageBritish English
Article number117492
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021


  • Bioproducts
  • Circular bioeconomy
  • Spirulina
  • Sustainability
  • Wastewater


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