The biodegradability and safety of the bioflocculants make them a potential alternative to non-biodegradable chemical flocculants for wastewater treatment. However, low yield and production cost has been reported to be the limiting factor for large scale bioflocculant production. Although the utilization of cheap nutrient sources is generally appealing for large scale bioproduct production, exploration to meet the demand for them is still low. Although much progress has been achieved at laboratory scale, Industrial production and application of bioflocculant is yet to be viable due to cost of the production medium and low yield. Thus, the prospects of bioflocculant application as an alternative to chemical flocculants is linked to evaluation and utilization of cheap alternative and renewable nutrient sources. This review evaluates the latest literature on the utilization of waste/wastewater as an alternative substitute for conventional expensive nutrient sources. It focuses on the mechanisms and metabolic pathways involved in microbial flocculant synthesis, culture conditions and nutrient requirements for bioflocculant production, pre-treatment, and also optimization of waste substrate for bioflocculant synthesis and bioflocculant production from waste and their efficiencies. Utilization of wastes as a microbial nutrient source drastically reduces the cost of bioflocculant production and increases the appeal of bioflocculant as a cost-effective alternative to chemical flocculants.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.