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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 217537, 9 pages
Review Article

Chitosan and Its Derivatives Applied in Harvesting Microalgae for Biodiesel Production: An Outlook

1School of Environment Science and Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Engines, Tianjin University, No. 92 Weijin Road, Nankai District, Tianjin 300072, China
2Tianjin State Key Laboratory of Modern Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 300193, China

Received 6 February 2014; Accepted 10 March 2014; Published 9 April 2014

Academic Editor: Ranjit T. Koodali

Copyright © 2014 Guanyi Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although oil-accumulating microalgae are a promising feedstock for biodiesel production, large-scale biodiesel production is not yet economically feasible. As harvesting accounts for an important part of total production cost, mass production of microalgae biodiesel requires an efficient low-energy harvesting strategy so as to make biodiesel production economically attractive. Chitosan has emerged as a favorable flocculating agent in harvesting of microalgae. The aim of this paper is to review current research on the application of chitosan and chitosan-derived materials for harvesting microalgae. This offers a starting point for future studies able to invalidate, confirm, or complete the actual findings and to improve knowledge in this field.