Utilization of organic residues using heterotrophic microalgae and insects

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenÜbersichtsarbeitenForschung


Various organic residues occur globally in the form of straw, wood, green biomass, food waste, feces, manure etc. Other utilization strategies apart from anaerobic digestion, composting and incineration are needed to make use of the whole potential of organic residues as sources of various value added compounds. This review compares the cultivation of heterotrophic microalgae and insects using organic residues as nutrient sources and illuminates their potential with regard to biomass production, productivity and yield, and utilization strategies of produced biomasses. Furthermore, cultivation processes as well as advantages and disadvantages of utilization processes are identified and discussed. It was shown that both heterotrophic algae and insects are able to reduce a sufficient amount of organic residues by converting it into biomass. The biomass composition of both organisms is similar which allows similar utilization strategies in food and feed, chemicals and materials productions. Even though insect is the more complex organism, biomass production can be carried out using simple equipment without sterilization and hydrolysis of organic residues. Contrarily, heterotrophic microalgae require a pretreatment of organic residues in form of sterilization and in most cases hydrolysis. Interestingly, the volumetric productivity of insect biomass exceeds the productivity of algal biomass. Despite legal restrictions, it is expected that microalgae and insects will find application as alternative food and feed sources in the future.

ZeitschriftWaste Management
Seiten (von - bis)227-239
Anzahl der Seiten13
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.02.2018