A novel process for enhancing oil production in algae biorefineries through bioconversion of solid by-products

  • Trzcinski A
  • Hernandez E
  • Webb C
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Abstract

This paper focuses on a novel process for adding value to algae residue. In current processes oleaginous microalgae are grown and harvested for lipid production leaving a lipid-free algae residue. The process described here includes conversion of the carbohydrate fraction into glucose prior to lipid extraction. This can be fermented to produce up to 15% additional lipids using another oleaginous microorganism. It was found that in situ enzymes can hydrolyze storage carbohydrates in the algae into glucose and that a temperature of 55 °C for about 20. h gave the best glucose yield. Up to 75% of available carbohydrates were converted to a generic fermentation feedstock containing 73. g/L glucose. The bioconversion step was found to increase the free water content by 60% and it was found that when the bioconversion was carried out prior to the extraction step, it improved the solvent extractability of lipids from the algae. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Biorefinery
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fermentation
  • Lipids
  • Microalgae

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