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Co-production of biodiesel and bioethanol using psychrophilic microalga Chlamydomonas sp. KNM0029C isolated from Arctic sea ice

  • Kim, Eun Jae1, 2
  • Kim, Sanghee1
  • Choi, Han-Gu1
  • Han, Se Jong1, 2
  • 1 Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon, 21990, Republic of Korea , Incheon (South Korea)
  • 2 University of Science and Technology, Incheon, 21990, Republic of Korea , Incheon (South Korea)
Published Article
Biotechnology for Biofuels
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s13068-020-1660-z
Springer Nature


BackgroundBiofuels, generated using microalgae as sustainable energy, have received a lot of attention. Microalgae can be cultivated at low cost with CO2 and solar energy without competition from edible crops. Psychrophilic microalgae can be a suitable feedstock to produce biofuels without the environmental constraints of low temperatures, because they can grow below 10 °C. However, there is a lack of efficient strategies using psychrophilic microalgae to produce biodiesel and bioethanol. Therefore, the current study aimed to optimize the production of biodiesel and bioethanol from Arctic Chlamydomonas sp. KNM0029C at low temperatures.ResultsAfter incubation in a 20-L photobioreactor, fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) was extracted using modified FAME extraction methods, producing a maximum yield of 0.16-g FAME/g KNM0029C. Residual biomass was pretreated for bioethanol production, and the yields from different methods were compared. The highest bioethanol yield (0.22-g/g residual biomass) was obtained by pretreatment with enzyme (amyloglucosidase) after sonication. Approximately 300-mg biofuel was obtained, including 156-mg FAME biodiesel and 144-mg bioethanol per g dried cells, representing the highest recorded yield from psychrophilic microalgae.ConclusionsThis is the first to attempt at utilizing biomass from psychrophilic Arctic microalga Chlamydomonas sp. KNM0029C for the co-production of bioethanol and biodiesel, and it yielded the highest values among reported studies using psychrophilic organisms. These results can be used as a source for the efficient biofuel production using polar microalgae.

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