Reserve lipids of microalgae are promising for biodiesel production. However, economically feasible and sustainable energy production from microalgae requires optimization of cultivation conditions for both biomass yield and lipid production of microalgae. Biomass yield and lipid production in microalgae are a contradictory problem because required conditions for both targets are different. Simultaneously, the mass cultivation of microalgae for biofuel production also depends extremely on the performance of the microalgae strains used. In this study a green unicellular microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana (DS6) isolated from the holding tanks of farm wastewater treatment plant using multi-step screening and acclimation procedures was found high-lipid producing facultative heterotrophic microalgae strain capable of growing on dairy farm effluent (DFE) for biodiesel feedstock and wastewater treatment. Morphological features and the phylogenetic analysis for the 18S rRNA identified the isolated strains. A novel three stage cultivation process of facultative strain of C. sorokiniana was examined for lipid production.
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.
Astaxanthin, a carotenoid pigment found in several aquatic organisms, is responsible for the red colour of salmon, trout and crustaceans. In this study, astaxanthin production from freshwater microalga Chlorella sorokiniana and marine microalga Tetraselmis sp. was investigated. Cell growth and astaxanthin production were determined spectrophotometrically at 620 and 480 nm, respectively. Astaxanthin was extracted using acetone and measured subsequent to biomass removal. Aerated conditions favoured astaxanthin production in C. sorokiniana, whereas Tetraselmis sp. was best cultured under unaerated conditions. C. sorokiniana produced more astaxanthin with the highest yield reached at 7.83 mg/l in 6.0 mM in nitrate containing medium compared to Tetraselmis sp. which recorded the highest yield of only 1.96 mg/l in 1.5 mM nitrate containing medium. Production in C. sorokiniana started at the early exponential phase, indicating that astaxanthin may be a growth-associated product in this microalga. Further optimization of astaxanthin production was performed using C. sorokiniana through a 2(3) full factorial experimental design, and a yield of 8.39 mg/l was achieved. Overall, the study has shown that both microalgae are capable of producing astaxanthin. Additionally, this research has highlighted C. sorokiniana as a potential astaxanthin producer that could serve as a natural astaxanthin source in the current market.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6n-3) plays a vital role in the enhancement of human health, particularly for cognitive, neurological, and visual functions. Marine microalgae, such as members of the genus Aurantiochytrium, are rich in DHA and represent a promising source of omega-3 fatty acids. In this study, levels of glucose, yeast extract, sodium glutamate and sea salt were optimized for enhanced lipid and DHA production by a Malaysian isolate of thraustochytrid, Aurantiochytrium sp. SW1, using response surface methodology (RSM). The optimized medium contained 60 g/L glucose, 2 g/L yeast extract, 24 g/L sodium glutamate and 6 g/L sea salt. This combination produced 17.8 g/L biomass containing 53.9% lipid (9.6 g/L) which contained 44.07% DHA (4.23 g/L). The optimized medium was used in a scale-up run, where a 5 L bench-top bioreactor was employed to verify the applicability of the medium at larger scale. This produced 24.46 g/L biomass containing 38.43% lipid (9.4 g/L), of which 47.87% was DHA (4.5 g/L). The total amount of DHA produced was 25% higher than that produced in the original medium prior to optimization. This result suggests that Aurantiochytrium sp. SW1 could be developed for industrial application as a commercial DHA-producing microorganism.
Biodiesel with improved yield was produced from microalgae biomass under simultaneous cooling and microwave heating (SCMH). Nannochloropsis sp. and Tetraselmis sp. which were known to contain higher lipid species were used. The yield obtained using this novel technique was compared with the conventional heating (CH) and microwave heating (MWH) as the control method. The results revealed that the yields obtained using the novel SCMH were higher; Nannochloropsis sp. (83.33%) and Tetraselmis sp. (77.14%) than the control methods. Maximum yields were obtained using SCMH when the microwave was set at 50°C, 800W, 16h of reaction with simultaneous cooling at 15°C; and water content and lipid to methanol ratio in reaction mixture was kept to 0 and 1:12 respectively. GC analysis depicted that the biodiesel produced from this technique has lower carbon components (<19 C) and has both reasonable CN and IV reflecting good ignition and lubricating properties.
In the present study, a novel oleaginous Thraustochytrid containing a high content of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was isolated from a mangrove ecosystem in Malaysia. The strain identified as an Aurantiochytrium sp. by 18S rRNA sequencing and named KRS101 used various carbon and nitrogen sources, indicating metabolic versatility. Optimal culture conditions, thus maximizing cell growth, and high levels of lipid and DHA production, were attained using glucose (60 g l⁻¹) as carbon source, corn steep solid (10 g l⁻¹) as nitrogen source, and sea salt (15 g l⁻¹). The highest biomass, lipid, and DHA production of KRS101 upon fed-batch fermentation were 50.2 g l⁻¹ (16.7 g l⁻¹ day⁻¹), 21.8 g l⁻¹ (44% DCW), and 8.8 g l⁻¹ (40% TFA), respectively. Similar values were obtained when a cheap substrate like molasses, rather than glucose, was used as the carbon source (DCW of 52.44 g l⁻¹, lipid and DHA levels of 20.2 and 8.83 g l⁻¹, respectively), indicating that production of microbial oils containing high levels of DHA can be produced economically when the novel strain is used.
Effective optimization of microalgae-to-bioethanol process systems hinges on an in-depth characterization of key process parameters relevant to the overall bioprocess engineering. One of the such important variables is the biomass particle size distribution and the effects on saccharification levels and bioethanol titres. This study examined the effects of three different microalgal biomass particle size ranges, 35 μm ≤ x ≤ 90 μm, 125 μm ≤ x ≤ 180 μm, and 295 μm ≤ x ≤ 425 μm, on the degree of enzymatic hydrolysis and bioethanol production. Two scenarios were investigated: single enzyme hydrolysis (cellulase) and double enzyme hydrolysis (cellulase and cellobiase). The glucose yield from biomass in the smallest particle size range (35 μm ≤ x ≤ 90 μm) was the highest, 134.73 mg glucose/g algae, while the yield from biomass in the larger particle size range (295 μm ≤ x ≤ 425 μm) was 75.45 mg glucose/g algae. A similar trend was observed for bioethanol yield, with the highest yield of 0.47 g EtOH/g glucose obtained from biomass in the smallest particle size range. The results have shown that the microalgal biomass particle size has a significant effect on enzymatic hydrolysis and bioethanol yield.
In this era of globalization, various products and technologies are being developed by the industries. While resources and energy are utilized from processes, wastes are being excreted through water streams, air, and ground. Without realizing it, environmental pollutions increase as the country develops. Effective technology is desired to create green factories that are able to overcome these issues. Wastewater is classified as the water coming from domestic or industrial sources. Wastewater treatment includes physical, chemical, and biological treatment processes. Aerobic and anaerobic processes are utilized in biological treatment approach. However, the current biological approaches emit greenhouse gases (GHGs), methane, and carbon dioxide that contribute to global warming. Microalgae can be the alternative to treating wastewater as it is able to consume nutrients from wastewater loading and fix CO2 as it undergoes photosynthesis. The utilization of microalgae in the system will directly reduce GHG emissions with low operating cost within a short period of time. The aim of this review is to discuss the uses of native microalgae species in palm oil mill effluent (POME) and flue gas remediation. In addition, the discussion on the optimal microalgae cultivation parameter selection is included as this is significant for effective microalgae-based treatment operations.
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.
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.
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.
Microalgal-bacterial granular sludge (MBGS) process has become a focal point in treating municipal wastewater. However, it remains elusive whether the emerging process can be applied for the treatment of aquaculture wastewater, which contains considerable concentrations of nitrate and nitrite. This study evaluated the feasibility of MBGS process for aquaculture wastewater treatment. Result showed that the MBGS process was competent to remove respective 64.8%, 84.9%, 70.8%, 50.0% and 84.2% of chemical oxygen demand, ammonia-nitrogen, nitrate-nitrogen, nitrite-nitrogen and phosphate-phosphorus under non-aerated conditions within 8 h. The dominant microalgae and bacteria were identified to be Coelastrella and Rhodobacteraceae, respectively. Further metagenomics analysis implied that microbial assimilation was the main contributor in organics, nitrogen and phosphorus removal. Specifically, considerable nitrate and nitrite removals were also obtained with the synergy between microalgae and bacteria. Consequently, this work demonstrated that the MBGS process showed a prospect of becoming an environmentally friendly and efficient alternative in aquaculture wastewater treatment.
Microalgae have received much interest as a biofuel feedstock in response to the uprising energy crisis, climate change and depletion of natural sources. Development of microalgal biofuels from microalgae does not satisfy the economic feasibility of overwhelming capital investments and operations. Hence, high-value co-products have been produced through the extraction of a fraction of algae to improve the economics of a microalgae biorefinery. Examples of these high-value products are pigments, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins and anti-oxidants, with applications in cosmetics, nutritional and pharmaceuticals industries. To promote the sustainability of this process, an innovative microalgae biorefinery structure is implemented through the production of multiple products in the form of high value products and biofuel. This review presents the current challenges in the extraction of high value products from microalgae and its integration in the biorefinery. The economic potential assessment of microalgae biorefinery was evaluated to highlight the feasibility of the process.
Culturing of microalgae as an alternative feedstock for biofuel production has received a lot of attention in recent years due to their fast growth rate and ability to accumulate high quantity of lipid and carbohydrate inside their cells for biodiesel and bioethanol production, respectively. In addition, this superior feedstock offers several environmental benefits, such as effective land utilization, CO(2) sequestration, self-purification if coupled with wastewater treatment and does not trigger food versus fuel feud. Despite having all these 'theoretical' advantages, review on problems and issues related to energy balance in microalgae biofuel are not clearly addressed until now. Base on the maturity of current technology, the true potential of microalgae biofuel towards energy security and its feasibility for commercialization are still questionable. Thus, this review is aimed to depict the practical problems that are facing the microalgae biofuel industry, covering upstream to downstream activities by accessing the latest research reports and critical data analysis. Apart from that, several interlink solutions to the problems will be suggested with the purpose to bring current microalgae biofuel research into a new dimension and consequently, to revolutionize the entire microalgae biofuel industry towards long-term sustainability.
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.
Microalgae are promising candidate resources from marine ecology for health-improving effects. Metabolite profiling of the microalgal diatom, Chaetoceros calcitrans was conducted by using robust metabolomics tools, namely ¹H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy coupled with multivariate data analysis (MVDA). The unsupervised data analysis, using principal component analysis (PCA), resolved the five types of extracts made by solvents ranging from polar to non-polar into five different clusters. Collectively, with various extraction solvents, 11 amino acids, cholesterol, 6 fatty acids, 2 sugars, 1 osmolyte, 6 carotenoids and 2 chlorophyll pigments were identified. The fatty acids and both carotenoid pigments as well as chlorophyll, were observed in the extracts made from medium polar (acetone, chloroform) and non-polar (hexane) solvents. It is suggested that the compounds were the characteristic markers that influenced the separation between the clusters. Based on partial least square (PLS) analysis, fucoxanthin, astaxanthin, violaxanthin, zeaxanthin, canthaxanthin, and lutein displayed strong correlation to 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging and nitric oxide (NO) inhibitory activity. This metabolomics study showed that solvent extractions are one of the main bottlenecks for the maximum recovery of bioactive microalgal compounds and could be a better source of natural antioxidants due to a high value of metabolites.
Microalgae are known as a rich source of bioactive compounds which exhibit different biological activities. Increased demand for sustainable biomass for production of important bioactive components with various potential especially therapeutic applications has resulted in noticeable interest in algae. Utilisation of microalgae in multiple scopes has been growing in various industries ranging from harnessing renewable energy to exploitation of high-value products. The focuses of this review are on production and the use of value-added components obtained from microalgae with current and potential application in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, energy and agri-food industries, as well as for bioremediation. Moreover, this work discusses the advantage, potential new beneficial strains, applications, limitations, research gaps and future prospect of microalgae in industry.
An aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) with ionic liquids (ILs) was used for the isolate of C-phycocyanin (CPC) from Spirulina platensis microalga. Various imidazolium ILs and potassium salts were studied. The effect of ILs-ATPS on the extraction efficiency of CPC was also studied. The experimental parameters like pH, loading volume, algae concentration, temperature, and alkyl chain length of IL were well-covered in this report. The experimental results showed that the extraction efficiency, the partition coefficient, and the separation factor for CPC were 99%, 36.6, and 5.8, respectively, for an optimal pH value of 7 and a temperature of 308 K. The order of extraction efficiency for CPC using IL-ATPS was: 1-octyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide (C8MIM-Br) > 1-hexyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide (C6MIM-Br) > 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide (C4MIM-Br). The isolation process followed the pseudo second-order kinetic model and the thermodynamic results were obviously spontaneous.