Handbook of Algal Biofuels. Aspects of Cultivation, Conversion, and Biorefinery - Chapter 8: Application of halophilic algae for water desalination

Elsevier, Handbook of Algal Biofuels. Aspects of Cultivation, Conversion, and Biorefinery, 2022, Pages 167-179
Shristy Gautam and Dhriti Kapoor

With the population rise and scarcity of freshwater, the desalination of seawater is a feasible option for potential drinking water supply. Desalination based on the use of algae to extract salts from seawater and water supply for various purposes is a recent technique. For pilot-scale studies, algae inhabiting estuaries or saline zones which have high salinity environments can be chosen as salt-tolerant species, such as Scenedesmus sp., Chlorella vulgaris, and Pheridia tenuis. This large pool of algae offers many candidates for the treatment of saline water in engineered biotechnological systems. The present chapter describes the use of halophilic algae which are not only resistant to salt but can also absorb and concentrate solutes for higher concentrations than in the water in which they live. Further, the application of halophytic technologies with possible biofuel production from algae balances the need for clean accessible water and renewable energy which may provide a sustainable solution.