Microalgal cell wall integrity and composition have a significant impact on the fermentation process and biofuel recovery. In this study, various biofuels (bioethanol, higher alcohols (C3-C5), and biodiesel) were produced by the fermentation of carbohydrates and proteins, and transesterification of lipids from three different microalgal strains (Pseudochlorella sp., Chlamydomonas mexicana, and Chlamydomonas pitschmannii), each possessing different proportions of bioconstituents (carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids). Changes in the cell wall structure and thickness were observed before and after fermentation using transmission electron microscopy. Pseudochlorella sp. showed the highest yields of bioethanol (0.45 g-ethanol/g-carbohydrates), higher alcohols (0.44 g-higher alcohols/g-proteins), and biodiesel (0.55 g-biodiesel/g-lipids), which consequently revealed a maximum energy recovery (42%) from whole constituents. This study suggests that different physiological properties, including cell wall thickness and the proportion of bioconstituents in microalgae, could have a significant impact on the pretreatment and fermentation efficiencies for biofuels production.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Waste Management and Disposal