Dark fermentation and microalgae cultivation coupled systems: Outlook and challenges - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles (Review Article) Science of the Total Environment Year : 2023

Dark fermentation and microalgae cultivation coupled systems: Outlook and challenges


The implementation of a sustainable bio-based economy is considered a top priority today. There is no doubt about the necessity to produce renewable bioenergy and bio-sourced chemicals to replace fossil-derived compounds. Under this scenario, strong efforts have been devoted to efficiently use organic waste as feedstock for biohydrogen production via dark fermentation. However, the technoeconomic viability of this process needs to be enhanced by the valorization of the residual streams generated. The use of dark fermentation effluents as low-cost carbon source for microalgae cultivation arises as an innovative approach for bioproducts generation (e.g., biodiesel, bioactive compounds, pigments) that maximizes the carbon recovery. In a biorefinery context, after value-added product extraction, the spent microalgae biomass can be further valorised as feedstock for biohydrogen production. This integrated process would play a key role in the transition towards a circular economy. This review covers recent advances in microalgal cultivation on dark fermentation effluents (DFE). BioH2 via dark fermentation processes and the involved metabolic pathways are detailed with a special focus on the main aspects affecting the effluent composition. Interesting traits of microalgae and current approaches to solve the challenges associated to the integration of dark fermentation and microalgae cultivation are also discussed.
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Dates and versions

hal-04007434 , version 1 (28-07-2023)



Julien Lacroux, Mercedes Llamas, Kevin Dauptain, Romina Avila, Jean-Philippe Steyer, et al.. Dark fermentation and microalgae cultivation coupled systems: Outlook and challenges. Science of the Total Environment, 2023, 865, pp.161136. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.161136⟩. ⟨hal-04007434⟩
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