In this sense, the worldwide production of microalgae is growing very fast although still, the overall production capacity is quite limited, in the range of 50 kt per year. To enlarge the contribution of microalgae to the bioeconomy large efforts must be devoted to the enlargement of current production facilities, especially by better understanding the biological phenomena taking place on these systems.
Thus, microalgae are photosynthetic organisms capable of using sunlight as an energy source to produce valuable biomass, and at the same time release the oxygen produced into the environment (Figure 1). These organisms are characterized by having a simple nutritional demand, they can grow in water ponds with nitrogen, phosphorus, light and atmospheric CO2 as a carbon source. Unlike plants, which also photosynthesize, microalgae are more efficient at converting solar energy, grow faster, and can be produced on non-arable land. These characteristics have made microalgae a valuable and sustainable source of biomass.