Working Group 2

Task A) Harvesting

Harvesting of microalgae biomass is a major challenge because biomass concentration in the cultures is relatively low (0.5 – 5 g/L) and microalgae cells are very small (5 – 50 µm). As a result, harvesting using off-the-shelf methods such as centrifugation is energy-intensive. This COST action will focus on the development of new cost- and energy-efficient methods for harvesting microalgae. The main criteria for selecting new harvesting procedures are the quality of the product, the biomass concentration for the subsequent process and the associated costs. Research will focus on flocculation-based technologies that require minimal quantities of chemicals (e.g. bioflocculation, autoflocculation, electroflocculation), or membrane-based harvesting processes.

Dr Sanda Velea

Dr Sanda Velea Leader Task a)

Dr Sanda Velea

Leader Task a)

Dr Sanda Velea

Country: Romania

Institution: National R&D Institute for Chemistry & Petrochemistry ICECHIM-Bucharest



Key investigations:

  • Alternative bioresources
  • CO2 capture and sequestration by microalgae
  • photobioreactors
  • Algal biomass valorisation

 International patents:

  • Stepan Emil, Velea Sanda, Oancea Florin, Bomboş Mariana Mihaela, Vasilievici Gabriel, Pârvulescu Vasile, Blăjan Olimpiu, Crucean Augustin Constantin, “Process for obtaining aviation biofuel from microalgal biomass”, WO 2015/076687
  • Oancea Florin, Velea Sanda, Stepan Emil, Ilie Lucia, “Process for mixotrophic cultivation of algae”, WO 2015/076689
  • Oancea Florin, Velea Sanda, Ilie Lucia, Stepan Emil, “Nannochloris sp. stain for obtainment of bio-based aviation fuel”, WO 2015/072873

International conferences:

  • Emil Stepan, Sanda Velea, Olimpiu Blăjan, Elena-Emilia Oprescu, Gabriel Vasilievici, Elena Radu, Adrian Radu, “Bio-derived synthetic paraffinic kerosene from microalgae”, International Conference ”1st Chemistry in Energy Conference”, Edinburg, Marea Britanie,19-23 iulie 2015.
  • Oprescu E.E., Velea Sanda, Doncea S.M., Radu A., Emil Stepan, Bolocan I., „Biodiesel from algae oil with high free fatty acid over amphiphilic solid acid catalyst”, International Conference ICheaP12, 19-22.05.2015, Milano, Italia.
  • M. Popescu, I. Calinescu, Sanda Velea, D. Ighigeanu, D. Martin, Microwaves bio-effects on microalgae growth, International Conference Ampere 2015, Cracovia, Polonia, 14-17 september 2015.
  • Sanda Velea, S.B. Ghimis, A.M. Popescu, E. Radu, Effects of Organic Carbon Sources on Cell Growth and Oil Content of Microalgae Species, International Conference RICCCE 19, Sibiu, Romania, 2-5 septembrie 2015.
  • Sanda VELEA “Evaluation of electroflocculation for microalgae harvesting”, 22nd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition CCH – Congress Center Hamburg, Germany -23-26 June 2014


  • Andreea Dragu, Solen Kinayyigit, Eduardo J. García-Suárez, Mihaela Florea, Emil Stepan, Sanda Velea, Liviu Tanase, Vincent Collière, Karine Philippot, P. Granger, Vasile I. Pârvulescu, “Deoxygenation of oleic acid: Influence of the synthesis route of Pd/mesoporous carbon nanocatalysts onto their activity and selectivity”, Applied Catalysis A: General, vol. 504, pag. 81-91 anul 2015, (ISSN: 0926860X)
  • Velea S., Ilie L., Stepan E., Chiurtu R., „New Photobioreactor Design for Enhancing the Photosynthetic Productivity of Chlorella homosphaera Culture”, “Revista de Chimie”, 2014, 65(1), 56-60, 2014, (ISSN 0034-7752)
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