Resins that reversibly bind algae for harvesting and concentration

Jessica Jones, Christine Beran, James Beach, Martin Poenie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Algae have great potential to address a number of important needs such as water remediation and as a feedstock for biofuel and biochemicals. At present, harvesting or removing algae is expensive, especially in terms of the cost of making biofuel. The expense of harvesting algae arises from the cost of pumping and processing large amounts of water. In an effort to explore less expensive methods for harvesting, a series of weak anion exchange resins incorporating various weak bases with different pKa values were developed to bind and release algae as a function of pH. The best of these resins bind about 10% of their weight in algae, show 100% reversibility and reusability, and the ability to concentrate algae from dilute suspension to 30 g L-1. Furthermore, they have the potential for desalting algae grown in high salt media. These resins provide a low cost method for harvesting algae without pumping water or introducing large amounts of chemicals into the feedwater, harvested algae, or the environment. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 32: 1143-1149, 2013

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1143-1149
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Progress and Sustainable Energy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • algae
  • biofuel
  • dewatering
  • harvest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Chemistry


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