Biological CO2 mitigation by microalgae: technological trends, future prospects and challenges

  • Michele Greque de Morais
  • Etiele Greque de Morais
  • Jessica Hartwig Duarte
  • Kricelle Mosquera Deamici
  • B. Greg Mitchell
  • Jorge Alberto Vieira CostaEmail author


The increase in the CO2 concentration in the Earth's atmosphere has been a topic of worldwide concern since anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases began increasing considerably during the industrial period. The effects of these mass emissions are probably the main cause of global warming, which has been observed over recent decades. Among the various techniques of CO2 capture, microalgal biofixation by photosynthesis is considered a promising technology due to the efficiency of these microorganisms in converting this gas into organic compounds through its use as a nutrient in the culture medium. Over the years, several research centers have developed studies on this subject, which have focused on mainly the development of bioreactors, the growth conditions that increase the efficiency of the process and the production of biomass with applicability in several areas. The biological mitigation of CO2 by microalgae has many advantages, including reductions in the concentration of an industrially sourced greenhouse gas and the energy or food obtained from the produced photosynthetic biomass. This versatility allows for the cultivation of economically useful biomass while reducing the environmental impacts of industrial facilities. In this context, this mini-review aims to discuss new technologies and strategies along with the main challenges and future prospects in the field and the ecological and economic impacts of CO2 biofixation by microalgae.


Carbon dioxide Microalgae Biofixation Greenhouse gas impact 



The authors would like to thank CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel), MCTIC (Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications) and the Program to Support the Publication of Academic Production/ PROPESP/FURG/2018 for providing financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michele Greque de Morais
    • 1
  • Etiele Greque de Morais
    • 2
  • Jessica Hartwig Duarte
    • 2
  • Kricelle Mosquera Deamici
    • 2
  • B. Greg Mitchell
    • 3
  • Jorge Alberto Vieira Costa
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Microbiology and Biochemistry, College of Chemistry and Food EngineeringFederal University of Rio GrandeRio GrandeBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratory of Biochemical Engineering, College of Chemistry and Food EngineeringFederal University of Rio GrandeRio GrandeBrazil
  3. 3.Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of California San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

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