FMX has been evaluated to be the most suitable microalgae harvesting technology. The study below found that FMX was superior to alternative method of collecting microalgae.
Five technologies, coagulation, electro-flotation (EF), electro-coagulation–flotation (ECF), centrifugation, and membrane filtration (FMX), were systematically assessed for their adequacy of harvesting Aurantiochytrium sp. KRS101, a heterotrophic microalgal species that has much higher biomass concentration than photoautotrophic species. Coagulation, EF, and ECF were found to have limited efficiency. Centrifugation was overly powerful to susceptible cells like Aurantiochytrium sp. KRS101, inducing cell rupture and consequently biomass loss of over 13%. Membrane filtration (FMX), in particular equipped with an anti-fouling turbulence generator, turned out to be best suited: nearly 100% of harvesting efficiency and low water content in harvested biomass were achieved. Dynamic filtration (FMX) appears to be indeed a suitable means especially to obtain highly concentrated biomass that have no need of dewatering and can be directly processed. (Evaluation of various harvesting methods for high-density microalgae, Aurantiochytrium sp. KRS101 - K. Kim et al. / Bioresource Technology 198 (2015) 828–835)
BKT conducted an in-house pilot study using various algae species. FMX was used to concentrate Nanochloropsis, Pediastrum, Chlamydamonus. The flowrate and recovery rate of each algae were measured as shown below.
FMX (MF) reached 99% recovery rate while maintaining a high flux rate.
The implementation of FMX also simplified the algae harvesting process.