Water Research paper provides insights into algal separation processes

Nuisance and harmful algae researchers Naras Rao and Rita Henderson, together with collaborators from Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design, UNSW have published a paper titled “Detailed algal extracellular protein-carbohydrate characterisation lends insights into algal solid-liquid separation processes” in the highly prestigious IWA journal Water Research. The objectives of this study were to investigate how proteins and carbohydrates in the algal extracellular organic matter can influence the outcomes of algal solid-liquid separation processes. Three algal and cyanobacterial species, all commonly found in water reservoirs were investigated. This paper demonstrates for the first time that protein-carbohydrate influences on separation process outcomes can be via: (a) physical conditions such as concentrations, molecular weight and charge of the biopolymers, (b) irreversible covalent carbohydrate-protein interactions (glycosylation), and reversible non-covalent carbohydrate-protein interactions caused by hydrogen bonding, Van der Waals or hydrophobic interactions.

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