Magnetic collection of the microalgae Chlorella sp. from culture media facilitated by low-gradient magnetophoretic separation is achieved in real time. A removal efficiency as high as 99% is accomplished by binding of iron oxide nanoparticles (NPs) to microalgal cells in the presence of the cationic polyelectrolyte poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) (PDDA) as a binder and subsequently subjecting the mixture to a NdFeB permanent magnet with surface magnetic field ≈6000 G and magnetic field gradient <80 T m(-1) . Surface functionalization of magnetic NPs with PDDA before exposure to Chlorella sp. is proven to be more effective in promoting higher magnetophoretic removal efficiency than the conventional procedure, in which premixing of microalgal cells with binder is carried out before the addition of NPs. Rodlike NPs are a superior candidate for enhancing the magnetophoretic separation compared to spherical NPs due to their stable magnetic moment that originates from shape anisotropy and the tendency to form large NP aggregates. Cell chaining is observed for nanorod-tagged Chlorella sp. which eventually fosters the formation of elongated cell clusters.
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.
Light quality and the intensity are key factors which render microalgae as a potential source of biodiesel. In this study the effects of various intensities of blue light and its photoperiods on the growth and lipid content of Chlorella vulgaris were investigated by using LED (Light Emitting Diode) in batch culture. C. vulgaris was grown for 13 days at three different light intensities (100, 200 and 300 μmol m(-2)s(-1)). Effect of three different light and dark regimes (12:12, 16:08 and 24:00 h Light:Dark) were investigated for each light intensity at 25°C culture temperature. Maximum lipid content (23.5%) was obtained due to high efficiency and deep penetration of 200 μmol m(-2)s(-1) of blue light (12:12 L:D) with improved specific growth (1.26 d(-1)) within reduced cultivation time of 8 days. White light could produce 20.9% lipid content in 10 days at 16:08 h L:D.
Successful application of a magnetophoretic separation technique for harvesting biological cells often relies on the need to tag the cells with magnetic nanoparticles. This study investigates the underlying principle behind the attachment of iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) onto microalgal cells, Chlorella sp. and Nannochloropsis sp., in both freshwater and seawater, by taking into account the contributions of various colloidal forces involved. The complex interplay between van der Waals (vdW), electrostatic (ES) and Lewis acid-base interactions (AB) in dictating IONP attachment was studied under the framework of extended Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (XDLVO) analysis. Our results showed that ES interaction plays an important role in determining the net interaction between the Chlorella sp. cells and IONPs in freshwater, while the AB and vdW interactions play a more dominant role in dictating the net particle-to-cell interaction in high ionic strength media (≥100 mM NaCl), such as seawater. XDLVO predicted effective attachment between cells and surface functionalized IONPs (SF-IONPs) with an estimated secondary minimum of -3.12 kT in freshwater. This prediction is in accordance with the experimental observation in which 98.89% of cells can be magnetophoretically separated from freshwater with SF-IONPs. We have observed successful magnetophoretic separation of microalgal cells from freshwater and/or seawater for all the cases as long as XDLVO analysis predicts particle attachment. For both the conditions, no pH adjustment is required for particle-to-cell attachment.
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.
Nowadays, the pretreatment of wastewater prior to discharge is very important in various industries as the wastewater without any treatment contains high organic pollution loads that would pollute the receiving waterbody and potentially cause eutrophication and oxygen depletion to aquatic life. The reuse of seafood wastewater discharge in microalgae cultivation offers beneficial purposes such as reduced processing cost for wastewater treatment, replenishing ground water basin as well as financial savings for microalgae cultivation. In this paper, the cultivation of Chlorella vulgaris with an initial concentration of 0.01 ± 0.001 g⋅L-1 using seafood sewage discharge under sunlight and fluorescent illumination was investigated in laboratory-scale without adjusting mineral nutrients and pH. The ability of nutrient removal under different lighting conditions, the metabolism of C. vulgaris and new medium as well as the occurrence of auto-flocculation of microalgae biomass were evaluated for 14 days. The results showed that different illumination sources did not influence the microalgae growth, chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) significantly. However, the total nitrogen (total-N) and total phosphorus (total-P) contents of microalgae were sensitive to the illumination mode. The amount of COD, BOD, total-N and total-P were decreased by 88%, 81%, 95%, and 83% under sunlight mode and 81%, 74%, 79%, and 72% under fluorescent illumination, respectively. Furthermore, microalgae were auto-flocculated at the final days of cultivation with maximum biomass concentration of 0.49 ± 0.01 g⋅L-1, and the pH value had increased to pH 9.8 ± 0.1 under sunlight illumination.