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Special Issue "Microalgae for Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Green Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020) | Viewed by 27429

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Cristina González-Fernandez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Biotechnological Processes Unit, IMDEA Energy, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: biotechnology; biofuel production; agricultural for energy source; energy production
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Luisa Gouveia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Bioenergy Unit, LNEG - National Laboratory of Energy and Geology, I.P., 1649-038 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: microalgae; wastewater treatment; biofuels; biofertilizers; biostimulants; biopesticides; bioplastics; bioactive compounds; food; feed from microalgae
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleague,

Microalgae have been recognized to possess great potential within the bioeconomy context. Although the total market size of algae bioproducts is still relatively small, the sector has undergone impressive growth. Nevertheless, significant challenges need to be addressed, such as (i) efficient and low-cost cultivation methods (in terms of growth rate, and product synthesis rate); (ii) harvesting and separation of the microalgal biomass from the culture medium; (iii) pre-treatment of the algal biomass to release its components (mainly lipids, proteins, carbohydrates) for further conversion; and (iv) further conversion steps to obtain biofuels and/or biocompounds This Special Issue invites manuscripts from authors who develop algae-related processes. Authors are invited to submit original research articles covering areas of cultivation, wastewater treatment, harvesting, biomass extraction, bioproductos, biofuels, biofertilizers/stimulants/pesticides, and biorefinery. Not only the production of algae and biomass use for different purposes are sought in this Special Issue but sustainability and economic process assessments are also welcome. Reviews that make substantial advances within this field are also invited to contribute to this Special Issue.

Dr. Cristina González-Fernandez
Dr. Luisa Gouveia
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Microalgae-based wastewater treatment
  • Biofuels
  • Bioactive-compounds
  • Biofertilizers/stimulants/pesticides
  • Bioproducts
  • Harvesting
  • Sustainability process assessment

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Enhancement of Biomass and Calcium Carbonate Biomineralization of Chlorella vulgaris through Plackett–Burman Screening and Box–Behnken Optimization Approach
Molecules 2020, 25(15), 3416; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25153416 - 28 Jul 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1415
Abstract
The biosynthesis of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) minerals through a metabolic process known as microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) between diverse microorganisms, and organic/inorganic compounds within their immediate microenvironment, gives rise to a cementitious biomaterial that may emerge as a promissory [...] Read more.
The biosynthesis of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) minerals through a metabolic process known as microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) between diverse microorganisms, and organic/inorganic compounds within their immediate microenvironment, gives rise to a cementitious biomaterial that may emerge as a promissory alternative to conventional cement. Among photosynthetic microalgae, Chlorella vulgaris has been identified as one of the species capable of undergoing such activity in nature. In this study, response surface technique was employed to ascertain the optimum condition for the enhancement of biomass and CaCO3 precipitation of C. vulgaris when cultured in Blue-Green (BG)-11 aquaculture medium. Preliminary screening via Plackett–Burman Design showed that sodium nitrate (NaNO3), sodium acetate, and urea have a significant effect on both target responses (p < 0.05). Further refinement was conducted using Box–Behnken Design based on these three factors. The highest production of 1.517 g/L C. vulgaris biomass and 1.143 g/L of CaCO3 precipitates was achieved with a final recipe comprising of 8.74 mM of NaNO3, 61.40 mM of sodium acetate and 0.143 g/L of urea, respectively. Moreover, polymorphism analyses on the collected minerals through morphological examination via scanning electron microscopy and crystallographic elucidation by X-ray diffraction indicated to predominantly calcite crystalline structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae for Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels)
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Article
Advanced Extraction of Lipids with DHA from Isochrysis galbana with Enzymatic Pre-Treatment Combined with Pressurized Liquids and Ultrasound Assisted Extractions
Molecules 2020, 25(14), 3310; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25143310 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1519
Abstract
Microalgal biomass is a sustainable and valuable source of lipids with omega-3 fatty acids. The efficient extraction of lipids from microalgae requires fast and alternative extraction methods, frequently combined with biomass pre-treatment by different procedures. In this work, Pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) was [...] Read more.
Microalgal biomass is a sustainable and valuable source of lipids with omega-3 fatty acids. The efficient extraction of lipids from microalgae requires fast and alternative extraction methods, frequently combined with biomass pre-treatment by different procedures. In this work, Pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) was optimized and compared with traditional lipid extraction methods, Folch and Bligh and Dyer, and with a new Ultrasound Assisted Extraction (UAE) method for lipids from microalgae Isochrysis galbana. To further optimize PLE and UAE, enzymatic pre-treatment of microalga Isochrysis galbana was studied with commercial enzymes Viscozyme and Celluclast. No significant differences were found for lipid yields among different extraction techniques used. However, advanced extraction techniques with or without pre-treatment are a green, fast, and toxic solvent free alternative to traditional techniques. Lipid composition of Isochrysis was determined by HPLC-ELSD and included neutral and polar lipids, showing that each fraction comprised different contents in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). The highest polar lipids content was achieved with UAE (50 °C and 15 min) and PLE (100 °C) techniques. Moreover, the highest omega-3 PUFA (33.2%), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (3.3%) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (12.0%) contents were achieved with the advanced technique UAE, showing the optimized method as a practical alternative to produce valuable lipids for food and nutraceutical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae for Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels)
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Article
Cultivation of Microalgae and Cyanobacteria: Effect of Operating Conditions on Growth and Biomass Composition
Molecules 2020, 25(12), 2834; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122834 - 19 Jun 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2619
Abstract
The purpose of this work is to define optimal growth conditions to maximise biomass for batch culture of the cyanobacterium Arthrospira maxima and the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris, Isochrysis galbana and Nannochloropsis gaditana. Thus, we study the effect of three variables on cell [...] Read more.
The purpose of this work is to define optimal growth conditions to maximise biomass for batch culture of the cyanobacterium Arthrospira maxima and the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris, Isochrysis galbana and Nannochloropsis gaditana. Thus, we study the effect of three variables on cell growth: i.e., inoculum:culture medium volume ratio (5:45, 10:40, 15:35 and 20:30 mL:mL), light:dark photoperiod (8:16, 12:12 and 16:8 h) and type of culture medium, including both synthetic media (Guillard’s F/2 and Walne’s) and wastewaters. The results showed that the initial inoculum:culture medium volume ratio, within the range 5:45 to 20:30, did not affect the amount of biomass at the end of the growth (14 days), whereas high (18 h) or low (6 h) number of hours of daily light was important for cell growth. The contribution of nutrients from different culture media could increase the growth rate of the different species. A. maxima was favoured in seawater enriched with Guillard’s F/2 as well as C. vulgaris and N. gaditana, but in freshwater medium. I. galbana had the greatest growth in the marine environment enriched with Walne’s media. Nitrogen was the limiting nutrient for growth at the end of the exponential phase of growth for C. vulgaris and N. gaditana, while iron was for A. maxima and I. galbana. The growth in different synthetic culture media also determines the biochemical composition of each of the microalgae. All species demonstrated their capability to grow in effluents from a wastewater treatment plant and they efficiently consume nitrogen, especially the three microalga species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae for Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels)
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Article
Screening Suitability of Northern Hemisphere Algal Strains for Heterotrophic Cultivation and Fatty Acid Methyl Ester Production
Molecules 2020, 25(9), 2107; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25092107 - 30 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1079
Abstract
Rapid rises in atmospheric CO2 levels derived from fossil fuel combustion are imposing urgent needs for renewable substitutes. One environmentally friendly alternative is biodiesel produced from suitable microalgal fatty acids. Algal strains normally grow photoautotrophically, but this is problematic in Northern areas [...] Read more.
Rapid rises in atmospheric CO2 levels derived from fossil fuel combustion are imposing urgent needs for renewable substitutes. One environmentally friendly alternative is biodiesel produced from suitable microalgal fatty acids. Algal strains normally grow photoautotrophically, but this is problematic in Northern areas because of the light limitations for much of the year. Mixotrophic and particularly heterotrophic strains could be valuable, especially if they can be cultivated in municipal wastewater with contents of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous that should be reduced before release into receiving water. Thus, the aim of this study was to screen for microalgal strains suitable for heterotrophic cultivation with a cheap carbon source (glycerol) for biodiesel production in Nordic, and other high-latitude, countries. One of the examined strains, a Desmodesmus sp. strain designated 2-6, accumulated biomass at similar rates in heterotrophic conditions with 40 mM glycerol as in autotrophic conditions. Furthermore, in heterotrophic conditions it produced more fatty acids, and ca. 50% more C18:1 fatty acids, as well as showing a significant decrease in C18:3 fatty acids, all of which are highly desirable features for biodiesel production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae for Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels)
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Article
Kinetics Study of Microwave-Assisted Brine Extraction of Lipid from the Microalgae Nannochloropsis sp.
Molecules 2020, 25(4), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25040784 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1322
Abstract
The kinetics of lipid extraction utilizing microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) from Nannochloropsis sp. microalgae were studied using a low cost and green solvent, namely brine (NaCl) solution. The kinetic modelling of the lipid extraction was performed to evaluate the mechanism of the lipid mass [...] Read more.
The kinetics of lipid extraction utilizing microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) from Nannochloropsis sp. microalgae were studied using a low cost and green solvent, namely brine (NaCl) solution. The kinetic modelling of the lipid extraction was performed to evaluate the mechanism of the lipid mass transfer using different extraction models, including Fick’s Law, First and Second-order Rate Law and the Patricelli mathematical model. The Patricelli mathematical model described the kinetics of lipid extraction well, with the highest average values of determination coefficient (R2 ≥ 0.952) and the lowest average values of mean relative percentage deviation (MRPD ≤ 8.666%). The lipid analysis indicated a positive influence of the microwave temperature and time on the quantity and quality of extracted lipids. SEM analysis of spent microalgae clearly shows an increase in the distorted cell with increase microwave temperature and time, which could be directly correlated to the mechanism of the MAE-brine technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae for Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels)
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Article
Biostimulant Potential of Scenedesmus obliquus Grown in Brewery Wastewater
Molecules 2020, 25(3), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25030664 - 04 Feb 2020
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 3126
Abstract
Microalgae are microorganisms with the capacity to contribute to the sustainable and healthy food production, in addition to wastewater treatment. The subject of this work was to determine the potential of Scenedesmus obliquus microalga grown in brewery wastewater to act as a plant [...] Read more.
Microalgae are microorganisms with the capacity to contribute to the sustainable and healthy food production, in addition to wastewater treatment. The subject of this work was to determine the potential of Scenedesmus obliquus microalga grown in brewery wastewater to act as a plant biostimulant. The germination index of watercress seeds, as well as the auxin-like activity in mung bean and cucumber, and in the cytokinin-like activity in cucumber bioassays were used to evaluate the biostimulant potential. Several biomass processes were studied, such as centrifugation, ultrasonication and enzymatic hydrolysis, as well as the final concentration of microalgal extracts to determine their influence in the biostimulant activity of the Scenedesmus biomass. The results showed an increase of 40% on the germination index when using the biomass at 0.1 g/L, without any pre-treatment. For auxin-like activity, the best results (up to 60% with respect to control) were obtained at 0.5 g/L of biomass extract, after a combination of cell disruption, enzymatic hydrolysis and centrifugation. For cytokinin-like activity, the best results (up to 187.5% with respect to control) were achieved without cell disruption, after enzymatic hydrolysis and centrifugation at a biomass extract concentration of 2 g/L. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae for Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels)
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Article
Volatile Fatty Acids Production from Microalgae Biomass: Anaerobic Digester Performance and Population Dynamics during Stable Conditions, Starvation, and Process Recovery
Molecules 2019, 24(24), 4544; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24244544 - 12 Dec 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1107
Abstract
Disturbances in anaerobic digestion (AD) negatively impact the overall reactor performance. These adverse effects have been widely investigated for methane generation. However, AD recently appeared as a potential technology to obtain volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and thus, the impact of process disturbances must [...] Read more.
Disturbances in anaerobic digestion (AD) negatively impact the overall reactor performance. These adverse effects have been widely investigated for methane generation. However, AD recently appeared as a potential technology to obtain volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and thus, the impact of process disturbances must be evaluated. In this sense, microbial response towards a starvation period of two weeks was investigated resulting in a conversion of organic matter into VFAs of 0.39 ± 0.03 COD-VFAs/CODin. However, the lack of feeding reduced the yield to 0.30 ± 0.02 COD-VFAs/CODin. Microbial analysis revealed that the starvation period favored the syntrophic acetate-oxidizing bacteria coupled with hydrogenotrophic methanogens. Finally, the system was fed at 9 g COD/Ld resulting in process recovery (0.39 ± 0.04 COD-VFAs/CODin). The different microbiome obtained at the end of the process was proved to be functionally redundant, highlighting the AD robustness for VFAs production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae for Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels)
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Article
Liquid Anaerobic Digestate as a Source of Nutrients for Lipid and Fatty Acid Accumulation by Auxenochlorella Protothecoides
Molecules 2019, 24(19), 3582; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24193582 - 04 Oct 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1442
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae for Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels)
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Article
Microwave-Assisted Brine Extraction for Enhancement of the Quantity and Quality of Lipid Production from Microalgae Nannochloropsis sp.
Molecules 2019, 24(19), 3581; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24193581 - 04 Oct 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1814
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae for Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels)
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Article
Statistical Methods for Rapid Quantification of Proteins, Lipids, and Carbohydrates in Nordic Microalgal Species Using ATR–FTIR Spectroscopy
Molecules 2019, 24(18), 3237; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24183237 - 05 Sep 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1938
Abstract
Attenuated total reflection–Fourier transform infrared (ATR–FTIR) spectroscopy is a simple, cheap, and fast method to collect chemical compositional information from microalgae. However, (semi)quantitative evaluation of the collected data can be daunting. In this work, ATR–FTIR spectroscopy was used to monitor changes of protein, [...] Read more.
Attenuated total reflection–Fourier transform infrared (ATR–FTIR) spectroscopy is a simple, cheap, and fast method to collect chemical compositional information from microalgae. However, (semi)quantitative evaluation of the collected data can be daunting. In this work, ATR–FTIR spectroscopy was used to monitor changes of protein, lipid, and carbohydrate content in seven green microalgae grown under nitrogen starvation. Three statistical methods—univariate linear regression analysis (ULRA), orthogonal partial least squares (OPLS), and multivariate curve resolution-alternating least squares (MCR–ALS)—were compared in their ability to model and predict the concentration of these compounds in the biomass. OPLS was found superior, since it i) included all three compounds simultaneously; ii) explained variations in the data very well; iii) had excellent prediction accuracy for proteins and lipids, and acceptable for carbohydrates; and iv) was able to discriminate samples based on cultivation stage and type of storage compounds accumulated in the cells. ULRA models worked well for the determination of proteins and lipids, but carbohydrates could only be estimated if already determined protein contents were used for scaling. Results obtained by MCR–ALS were similar to ULRA, however, this method is considerably easier to perform and interpret than the more abstract statistical/chemometric methods. FTIR-spectroscopy-based models allow high-throughput, cost-effective, and rapid estimation of biomass composition of green microalgae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae for Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels)
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Article
Nutritional Potential and Toxicological Evaluation of Tetraselmis sp. CTP4 Microalgal Biomass Produced in Industrial Photobioreactors
Molecules 2019, 24(17), 3192; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24173192 - 03 Sep 2019
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 2347
Abstract
Commercial production of microalgal biomass for food and feed is a recent worldwide trend. Although it is common to publish nutritional data for microalgae grown at the lab-scale, data about industrial strains cultivated in an industrial setting are scarce in the literature. Thus, [...] Read more.
Commercial production of microalgal biomass for food and feed is a recent worldwide trend. Although it is common to publish nutritional data for microalgae grown at the lab-scale, data about industrial strains cultivated in an industrial setting are scarce in the literature. Thus, here we present the nutritional composition and a microbiological and toxicological evaluation of Tetraselmis sp. CTP4 biomass, cultivated in 100-m3 photobioreactors at an industrial production facility (AlgaFarm). This microalga contained high amounts of protein (31.2 g/100 g), dietary fibres (24.6 g/100 g), digestible carbohydrates (18.1 g/100 g) and ashes (15.2 g/100 g), but low lipid content (7.04 g/100 g). The biomass displayed a balanced amount of essential amino acids, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and starch-like polysaccharides. Significant levels of chlorophyll (3.5 g/100 g), carotenoids (0.61 g/100 g), and vitamins (e.g., 79.2 mg ascorbic acid /100 g) were also found in the biomass. Conversely, pathogenic bacteria, heavy metals, cyanotoxins, mycotoxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and pesticides were absent. The biomass showed moderate antioxidant activity in several in vitro assays. Taken together, as the biomass produced has a balanced biochemical composition of macronutrients and (pro-)vitamins, lacking any toxic contaminants, these results suggest that this strain can be used for nutritional applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae for Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels)
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Article
Optimization of Light Intensity and NaNO3 Concentration in Amazon Cyanobacteria Cultivation to Produce Biodiesel
Molecules 2019, 24(12), 2326; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24122326 - 24 Jun 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1741
Abstract
The objective of this study, for the first time, was to optimize Amazonian cyanobacterial culture conditions for improving cell productivity and lipid content, by analyzing the effect of light intensity and nitrogen concentration, for empirically evaluating biodiesel quality parameters. The strains Synechocystis sp. [...] Read more.
The objective of this study, for the first time, was to optimize Amazonian cyanobacterial culture conditions for improving cell productivity and lipid content, by analyzing the effect of light intensity and nitrogen concentration, for empirically evaluating biodiesel quality parameters. The strains Synechocystis sp. CACIAM05, Microcystis aeruginosa CACIAM08, Pantanalinema rosaneae CACIAM18, and Limnothrix sp. CACIAM25, were previously identified by morphological and molecular analysis (16S rRNA) and were selected based on their production of chlorophyll a and dry cell weight. Then, factorial planning (22) with central points was applied, with light intensity and NaNO3 concentration as independent variables. As response variables, cell productivity and lipid content were determined. Statistical analysis indicated that for all strains, the independent variables were statistically significant for cell productivity. Analysis of the fatty acid composition demonstrated diversity in the composition of the fatty acid profile from the experimental planning assays of each strain. The Biodiesel Analyzer software predicted the biodiesel quality parameters. CACIAM05 and CACIAM25 obtained better parameters with low levels of light intensity and NaNO3 concentration, whereas CACIAM08 and CACIAM18 obtained better parameters with low NaNO3 concentrations and high luminous intensity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae for Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels)
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Review

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Review
Microalgae-Derived Pigments: A 10-Year Bibliometric Review and Industry and Market Trend Analysis
Molecules 2020, 25(15), 3406; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25153406 - 28 Jul 2020
Cited by 59 | Viewed by 3512
Abstract
Microalgae productive chains are gaining importance as sustainable alternatives to obtain natural pigments. This work presents a review on the most promising pigments and microalgal sources by gathering trends from a 10-year bibliometric survey, a patents search, and an industrial and market analysis [...] Read more.
Microalgae productive chains are gaining importance as sustainable alternatives to obtain natural pigments. This work presents a review on the most promising pigments and microalgal sources by gathering trends from a 10-year bibliometric survey, a patents search, and an industrial and market analysis built from available market reports, projects and companies’ webpages. The performed analysis pointed out chlorophylls, phycocyanin, astaxanthin, and β-carotene as the most relevant pigments, and Chlorella vulgaris, Spirulina platensis, Haematococcus pluvialis, and Dunaliella salina, respectively, as the most studied sources. Haematococcus is referred in the highest number of patents, corroborating a high technological interest in this microalga. The biorefinery concept, investment in projects and companies related to microalgae cultivation and/or pigment extraction is increasingly growing, particularly, for phycocyanin from Spirulina platensis. These pieces of evidence are a step forward to consolidate the microalgal pigments market, which is expected to grow in the coming years, increasing the prospects of replacing synthetic pigments by natural counterparts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae for Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels)
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Review
Microalgae Biomass as a Potential Feedstock for the Carboxylate Platform
Molecules 2019, 24(23), 4404; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24234404 - 02 Dec 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1641
Abstract
Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) are chemical building blocks for industries, and are mainly produced via the petrochemical pathway. However, the anaerobic fermentation (AF) process gives a potential alternative to produce these organic acids using renewable resources. For this purpose, waste streams, such as [...] Read more.
Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) are chemical building blocks for industries, and are mainly produced via the petrochemical pathway. However, the anaerobic fermentation (AF) process gives a potential alternative to produce these organic acids using renewable resources. For this purpose, waste streams, such as microalgae biomass, might constitute a cost-effective feedstock to obtain VFAs. The present review is intended to summarize the inherent potential of microalgae biomass for VFA production. Different strategies, such as the use of pretreatments to the inoculum and the manipulation of operational conditions (pH, temperature, organic loading rate or hydraulic retention time) to promote VFA production from different microalgae strains, are discussed. Microbial structure analysis using microalgae biomass as a substrate is pointed out in order to further comprehend the roles of bacteria and archaea in the AF process. Finally, VFA applications in different industry fields are reviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae for Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels)
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