In recent years, there has been growing interest in the biomass of unicellular algae as a source of valuable metabolites. The main limitations in the commercial application of microbial biomass are associated with the costs of production thereof. Maize silage is one of the main substrates used in biogas plants in Europe. The effects of sterilized agricultural liquid digestate (LD) from methane fermentation of maize silage on the growth rates, macro and micronutrient removal efficiency, lipid content, and fatty acid profile in Auxenochlorella protothecoides
were investigated. The results indicate that A. prothecoides
can proliferate and accumulate lipids with simultaneous reduction of nutrients in the 1:20 diluted liquid digestate. The rate of nitrogen and phosphorus removal from the liquid digestate was 79.45% and 78.4%, respectively. Cells growing in diluted liquid digestate exhibited the maximum lipid content, i.e., 44.65%. The fatty acid profile of A. prothecoides
shows a decrease in the content of linolenic acid by 20.87% and an increase in oleic acid by 32.16% in the LD, compared with the control. The liquid digestate changed the content of monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The cells of A. protothecoides
growing in the liquid digestate were characterized by lower PUFA content and higher MUFA levels.
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