Toward attaining a sustainability and eco-friendly process, a green and low-cost solvent-brine (NaCl solution) is proposed, as microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) technique solvent to extract lipids from microalgae Nannochloropsis sp. The effect of NaCl concentration on the quantity and quality of the extracted lipid was assessed, while MAE parameters were optimized using response surface methodology (RSM). The content of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) in the lipid was analyzed by using a gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (GC/FID). The highest lipid yield (16.1%) was obtained using 10% (w/v) brine at optimum extraction parameters of 5% (w/v) solid loading, 100 °C, and 30 min. The lipid extraction yield via optimized MAE-brine technique was thrice better than that Soxhlet extraction did and only 2% less than Bligh and Dyer (B&D) lipid extraction, which utilized harmful solvents. The proposed MAE-brine technique offered better quality lipids containing the highest amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) (44.5%) and omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) (43%). Hence, the MAE-brine solvent technique appears to be a promising extraction method for cheaper, greener, and faster extraction of a high-quality lipid for specialty food applications.
Microbial oils are considered as alternative to vegetable oils or animal fats as biodiesel feedstock. Microalgae and oleaginous yeast are the main candidates of microbial oil producers' community. However, biodiesel synthesis from these sources is associated with high cost and process complexity. The traditional transesterification method includes several steps such as biomass drying, cell disruption, oil extraction and solvent recovery. Therefore, direct transesterification or in situ transesterification, which combines all the steps in a single reactor, has been suggested to make the process cost effective. Nevertheless, the process is not applicable for large-scale biodiesel production having some difficulties such as high water content of biomass that makes the reaction rate slower and hurdles of cell disruption makes the efficiency of oil extraction lower. Additionally, it requires high heating energy in the solvent extraction and recovery stage. To resolve these difficulties, this review suggests the application of antimicrobial peptides and high electric fields to foster the microbial cell wall disruption.
Global warming has become a serious issue nowadays as the trend of CO2 emission is increasing by years. In Malaysia, the electricity and energy sector contributed a significant amount to the nation's CO2 emission due to fossil fuel use. Many research works have been carried out to mitigate this issue, including carbon capture and utilization (CCUS) technology and biological carbon fixation by microalgae. This study makes a preliminary effort to screen native microalgae species in the Malaysian coal-fired power plant's surrounding towards carbon fixation ability. Three dominant species, including Nannochloropsis sp., Tetraselmis sp., and Isochrysis sp. were identified and tested in the laboratory under ambient and pure CO2 condition to assess their growth and CO2 fixation ability. The results indicate Isochrysis sp. as the superior carbon fixer against other species. In continuation, the optimization study using Response Surface Methodology (RSM) was carried out to optimize the operating conditions of Isochrysis sp. using a customized lab-scale photobioreactor under simulated flue gas exposure. This species was further acclimatized and tested under actual flue gas generated by the power plant. Isochrysis sp. had shown its capability as a carbon fixer with CO2 fixation rate of 0.35 gCO2/L day under actual coal-fired flue gas exposure after cycles of acclimatization phase. This work is the first to demonstrate indigenous microalgae species' ability as a carbon fixer under Malaysian coal-fired flue gas exposure. Thus, the findings shall be useful in exploring the microalgae potential as a biological agent for carbon emission mitigation from power plants more sustainably.
Production of Scenedesmus sp. biomass in chicken slaughterhouse wastewater (CSWW) is a promising alternative technique for commercial culture medium due to the high nutritional content of the generated biomass to be used as fish feeds. The current work deals with optimising of biomass production in CSWW using response surface methodology (RSM) as a function of two independent variables, namely temperature (10-30 °C) and photoperiod (6-24 h). The potential application of biomass yield as fish feeds was evaluated based on carbohydrate, protein and lipid contents. The results revealed that the best operating parameters for Scenedesmus sp. biomass production with high contents of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids were determined at 30 °C and after 24 h. The actual and predicted values were 2.47 vs. 3.09 g, 1.44 vs. 1.27 μg/mL, 29.9 vs. 31.60% and 25.75 vs. 28.44%, respectively. Moreover, the produced biomass has a high concentration of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) as follows: 35.91% of C15:1; 17.58% of C24:1 and 14.11% of C18:1N9T. The biomass yields have 7.98% of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5N3) which is more appropriate as fish feeds. The Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis of biomass revealed that the main functional groups included hydroxyl (OH), aldehyde (=C-H), alkanes and acyl chain groups. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopic analysis (EDS) indicated that the surface morphology and element distribution in biomass produced in BBM and CSWW were varied. The findings have indicated that the biomass produced in CSWW has high potential as fish feeds.
Bioprospecting for biodiesel potential in microalgae primarily involves a few model species of microalgae and rarely on non-model microalgae species. Therefore, the present study determined changes in physiology, oil accumulation, fatty acid composition and biodiesel properties of a non-model microalga Messastrum gracile SE-MC4 in response to 12 continuous days of nitrate-starve (NS) and nitrate-replete (NR) conditions respectively. Under NS, the highest oil content (57.9%) was achieved despite reductions in chlorophyll content, biomass productivity and lipid productivity. However, under both NS and NR, palmitic acid and oleic acid remained as dominant fatty acids thus suggesting high potential of M. gracile for biodiesel feedstock consideration. Biodiesel properties analysis returned high values of cetane number (CN 61.9-64.4) and degree of unsaturation (DU 45.3-57.4) in both treatments. The current findings show the possibility of a non-model microalga to inherit superior ability over model species in oil accumulation for biodiesel development.
Nannochloropsis sp. wet biomass was directly transesterified under microwave (MW) irradiation in the presence of methanol and various alkali and acid catalyst. Two different types of direct transesterification (DT) were used; one step and two step transesterification. The biodiesel yield obtained from the MWDT was compared with that obtained using conventional method (lipid extraction followed by transesterification) and water bath heating DT method. Findings revealed that MWDT efficiencies were higher compared to water bath heating DT by at least 14.34% and can achieve a maximum of 43.37% with proper selection of catalysts. The use of combined catalyst (NaOH and H2SO4) increased the yield obtained by 2.3-folds (water bath heating DT) and 2.87-folds (MWDT) compared with the one step single alkaline catalyst respectively. The property of biodiesel produced by MWDT has high lubricating property, good cetane number and short carbon chain FAME's compared with water bath heating DT.
Wavelength of light is a crucial factor which renders microalgae as the potential biodiesel. In this study, Tetraselmis sp. and Nannochloropsis sp. as famous targets were selected. The effect of different light wavelengths on growth rate and lipid production was studied. Microalgae were cultivated for 14 days as under blue, red, red-blue LED and white fluorescent light. The growth rate of microalgae was analyzed by spectrophotometer and cell counting while oil production under improved Nile red method. Optical density result showed the microalgae exhibited better growth curve under blue wavelength. Besides, Tetraselmis sp. and Nannochloropsis sp. under blue wavelength showed the higher growth rate (1.47 and 1.64 day(-1)) and oil production (102.954 and 702.366 a.u.). Gas chromatography analysis also showed that palmitic acid and stearic acid which were compulsory components for biodiesel contribute around 49-51% of total FAME from Nannochloropsis sp. and 81-83% of total FAME from Tetraselmis sp.
Ocean acidification, due to increased levels of anthropogenic carbon dioxide, is known to affect the physiology and growth of marine phytoplankton, especially in polar regions. However, the effect of acidification or carbonation on cellular metabolism in polar marine phytoplankton still remains an open question. There is some evidence that small chlorophytes may benefit more than other taxa of phytoplankton. To understand further how green polar picoplankton could acclimate to high oceanic CO2, studies were conducted on an Antarctic Chlorella sp. Chlorella sp. maintained its growth rate (∼0.180 d-1), photosynthetic quantum yield (Fv/Fm = ∼0.69) and chlorophyll a (0.145 fg cell-1) and carotenoid (0.06 fg cell-1) contents under high CO2, while maximum rates of electron transport decreased and non-photochemical quenching increased under elevated CO2. GCMS-based metabolomic analysis reveal that this polar Chlorella strain modulated the levels of metabolites associated with energy, amino acid, fatty acid and carbohydrate production, which could favour its survival in an increasingly acidified ocean.
The richness of high-value bio-compounds derived from microalgae has made microalgae a promising and sustainable source of useful product. The present work starts with a review on the usage of open pond and photobioreactor in culturing various microalgae strains, followed by an in-depth evaluation on the common harvesting techniques used to collect microalgae from culture medium. The harvesting methods discussed include filtration, centrifugation, flocculation, and flotation. Additionally, the advanced extraction technologies using ionic liquids as extractive solvents applied to extract high-value bio-compounds such as lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, and other bioactive compounds from microalgae biomass are summarized and discussed. However, more work needs to be done to fully utilize the potential of microalgae biomass for the application in large-scale production of biofuels, food additives, and nutritive supplements.
Microalgae have caught the world's attention for its potential to solve one of the world's most pressing issues-sustainable green energy. Compared to biofuels supplied by oil palm, rapeseed, soybean and sugar cane, microalgae alone can be manipulated to generate larger amounts of biodiesel, bioethanol, biohydrogen and biomass in a shorter time. Apart from higher productivity, microalgae can also grow using brackish water on non-arable land, greatly reducing the competition with food and cash crops. Hence, numerous efforts have been put into the commercialisation of microalgae-derived biofuel by both the government and private bodies. This paper serves to review conventional and novel methods for microalgae culture and biomass harvest, as well as recent developments in techniques for microalgal biofuel production.
Exploitation of renewable sources of energy such as algal biodiesel could turn energy supplies problem around. Studies on a locally isolated strain of Dunaliella sp. showed that the mean lipid content in cultures enriched by 200 mg L(-1) myoinositol was raised by around 33% (1.5 times higher than the control). Similarly, higher lipid productivity values were achieved in cultures treated by 100 and 200 mg L(-1) myoinositol. Fluorometry analyses (microplate fluorescence and flow cytometry) revealed increased oil accumulation in the Nile red-stained algal samples. Moreover, it was predicted that biodiesel produced from myoinositol-treated cells possessed improved oxidative stability, cetane number, and cloud point values. From the genomic point of view, real-time analyses revealed that myoinositol negatively influenced transcript abundance of AccD gene (one of the key genes involved in lipid production pathway) due to feedback inhibition and that its positive effect must have been exerted through other genes. The findings of the current research are not to interprete that myoinositol supplementation could answer all the challenges faced in microalgal biodiesel production but instead to show that "there is a there there" for biochemical modulation strategies, which we achieved, increased algal oil quantity and enhanced resultant biodiesel quality.
Cell immobilization on the magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and magnetic harvesting is a novel approach for microalgal cells separation. To date, the effect of these nanoparticles on microalgal cells was only studied over a short period of time. More studies are hence needed for a better understanding of the magnetic harvesting proposes or environmental concerns relating to long-term exposure to nanoparticles. In this study, the impact of various concentrations of MNPs on the microalgal cells growth and their metabolic status was investigated over 12 days. More than 60% reduction in mitochondrial activity and pigments (chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and carotenoids) content occurred during the first 6 days of exposure to ≥50 µg/mL nanoparticles. However, more than 50% growth inhibitory effect was seen at concentrations higher than 400 µg/mL. Exposure to MNPs gradually induced cellular adaptation and after about 6 days of exposure to stress generating concentrations (˂400 µg/mL) of IONs, microalgae could overcome the imposed damages. This work provides a better understanding regarding the environmental impact of MNPs and appropriate concentrations of these particles for future algal cells magnetic immobilization and harvesting.
Biofuels are viewed as promising alternatives to conventional fossil fuels because they have the potential to eliminate major environmental problems created by fossil fuels. Among the still developing biofuel technologies, biodiesel production from algae offers a greater prospect for large-scale practical use, as algae are capable of producing much more yield than other biofuels. While research on algae-based biofuel is still in its developing stage, extensive work on laboratory- and pilot-scale algae harvesting systems with promising prospects has been reported. This paper presented a discussion of the literature review on recent advances in algae separation, harvesting and drying for biofuel production. The review and discussion focus on destabilization of algae, algae harvesting technologies and algae drying processes. Challenges and prospects of algae harvesting are also outlined.
Microalgae are the most promising sources of protein, which have high potential due to their high-value protein content. Conventional methods of protein harnessing required multiple steps, and they are generally complex, time consuming, and expensive. Currently, the study of integration methods for microalgae cell disruption and protein recovery process as a single-step process is attracting considerable interest. This study aims to investigate the novel approach of integration method of electrolysis and liquid biphasic flotation for protein extraction from wet biomass of Chlorella sorokiniana CY-1 and obtaining the optimal operating conditions for the protein extraction. The optimized conditions were found at 60% (v/v) of 1-propanol as top phase, 250 g/L of dipotassium hydrogen phosphate as bottom phase, crude microalgae loading of 0.1 g, air flowrate of 150 cc/min, flotation time of 10 min, voltage of 20 V and electrode's tip touching the top phase of LBEF. The protein recovery and separation efficiency after optimization were 23.4106 ± 1.2514% and 173.0870 ± 4.4752%, respectively. Comparison for LBEF with and without the aid of electric supply was also conducted, and it was found that with the aid of electrolysis, the protein recovery and separation efficiency increased compared to the LBEF without electrolysis. This novel approach minimizes the steps for overall protein recovery from microalgae, time consumption, and cost of operation, which is beneficial in bioprocessing industry.
There are numerous commercial applications of microalgae nowadays owing to their vast biotechnological and economical potential. Indisputably, astaxanthin is one of the high value product synthesized by microalgae and is achieving commercial success. Astaxanthin is a keto-carotenoid pigment found in many aquatic animals including microalgae. Astaxanthin cannot be synthesized by animals and provided in the diet is compulsory. In this study, the production of astaxanthin by the freshwater microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana and marine microalgae Tetraselmis sp. were studied. The relationship between growth and astaxanthin production by marine and freshwater microalgae cultivated under various carbon sources and concentrations, environmental conditions and nitrate concentrations was investigated in this study. Inorganic carbon source and low nitrate concentration favored the growth and production of astaxanthin by the marine microalgae Tetraselmis sp. and the freshwater microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana. Outdoor cultivation enhanced the growth of microalgae, while indoor cultivation promoted the formation of astaxanthin. The results indicated that supplementation of light, inorganic carbon and nitrate could be effectively manipulated to enhance the production of astaxanthin by both microalgae studied.
Microalgal bacterial flocs can be a promising approach for microalgae harvesting and wastewater treatment. The present study provides an insight on the bioflocs formation to enhance harvesting of Chlorella vulgaris and the removal of nutrients from seafood wastewater effluent. The results showed that the untreated seafood wastewater was the optimal culture medium for the cultivation and bioflocculation of C. vulgaris, with the flocculating activity of 92.0 ± 6.0%, total suspended solids removal of 93.0 ± 5.5%, and nutrient removal of 88.0 ± 2.2%. The bioflocs collected under this optimal condition contained dry matter of 107.2 ± 5.6 g·L-1 and chlorophyll content of 25.5 ± 0.2 mg·L-1. The results were promising when compared to those obtained from the auto-flocculation process that induced by the addition of calcium chloride and pH adjustment. Additionally, bacteria present in the wastewater aided to promote the formation of bioflocculation process.
Mixotrophic metabolism was evaluated as an option to augment the growth and lipid production of marine microalga Tetraselmis sp. FTC 209. In this study, a five-level three-factor central composite design (CCD) was implemented in order to enrich the W-30 algal growth medium. Response surface methodology (RSM) was employed to model the effect of three medium variables, that is, glucose (organic C source), NaNO3 (primary N source), and yeast extract (supplementary N, amino acids, and vitamins) on biomass concentration, X(max), and lipid yield, P(max)/X(max). RSM capability was also weighed against an artificial neural network (ANN) approach for predicting a composition that would result in maximum lipid productivity, Pr(lipid). A quadratic regression from RSM and a Levenberg-Marquardt trained ANN network composed of 10 hidden neurons eventually produced comparable results, albeit ANN formulation was observed to yield higher values of response outputs. Finalized glucose (24.05 g/L), NaNO3 (4.70 g/L), and yeast extract (0.93 g/L) concentration, affected an increase of X(max) to 12.38 g/L and lipid a accumulation of 195.77 mg/g dcw. This contributed to a lipid productivity of 173.11 mg/L per day in the course of two-week cultivation.
High cell density cultivation of microalgae via heterotrophic growth mechanism could effectively address the issues of low productivity and operational constraints presently affecting the solar driven biodiesel production. This paper reviews the progress made so far in the development of commercial-scale heterotrophic microalgae cultivation processes. The review also discusses on patentable concepts and innovations disclosed in the past four years with regards to new approaches to microalgal cultivation technique, improvisation on the process flow designs to economically produced biodiesel and genetic manipulation to confer desirable traits leading to much valued high lipid-bearing microalgae strains.
The world energy crisis and increased greenhouse gas emissions have driven the search for alternative and environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. According to life cycle analysis, microalgae biofuel is identified as one of the major renewable energy sources for sustainable development, with potential to replace the fossil-based fuels. Microalgae biofuel was devoid of the major drawbacks associated with oil crops and lignocelluloses-based biofuels. Algae-based biofuels are technically and economically viable and cost competitive, require no additional lands, require minimal water use, and mitigate atmospheric CO2. However, commercial production of microalgae biodiesel is still not feasible due to the low biomass concentration and costly downstream processes. The viability of microalgae biodiesel production can be achieved by designing advanced photobioreactors, developing low cost technologies for biomass harvesting, drying, and oil extraction. Commercial production can also be accomplished by improving the genetic engineering strategies to control environmental stress conditions and by engineering metabolic pathways for high lipid production. In addition, new emerging technologies such as algal-bacterial interactions for enhancement of microalgae growth and lipid production are also explored. This review focuses mainly on the problems encountered in the commercial production of microalgae biofuels and the possible techniques to overcome these difficulties.