Matching Items (10)

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Lipid Extraction from Microalgae Strains for Biodiesel

Description

The need for clean fuel sources is greater than ever, as fossil fuel dependence has soared and harmful emissions are being released into the atmosphere at increasingly higher rates. A

The need for clean fuel sources is greater than ever, as fossil fuel dependence has soared and harmful emissions are being released into the atmosphere at increasingly higher rates. A viable solution to this issue is the use of microalgae for the creation of biofuels, as it holds a high concentration of lipids without requiring arable land for growth. This experiment studies downstream applications of microalgae, including how the extraction efficiency can be improved for greater lipid yield. 3-dimethyldodecylammonium propanesulfonate, myristyltrimethylammonium bromide and sodium dodecyl sulfate were used as surfactants to break down the algae cell walls and improve lipid recovery. The incubation times of the biomass in the surfactant were also studied at 0, 4.5, 24, 48 and 72 hours to more fully examine how surfactants affect the extraction of lipids. Along with this, hexane and isopropanol were used as the main extraction solvent in this experiment, but testing was done to compare these lipid yields to when ethyl acetate was used as the solvent. It was found that the MTMAB surfactant led to the greatest cell disruption, as its lipid yields were consistently higher than those of the other surfactants. Also, longer incubation times did improve the amount of lipid extracted, showing that the surfactants do have a strong effect on the cell breakdown. Finally, it was found that the ethyl acetate was a slightly more effective solvent than hexane and isopropanol in the conditions of this experiment. Overall, a stronger understanding of the wet extraction process was gained from these tests, as well as more insight into how some of the variables interact and work together during extraction.

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  • 2015-12

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Water and energy requirements for outdoor algal cultivation in panel and raceway photobioreactors

Description

Recognition of algae as a “Fit for Purpose” biomass and its potential as an energy and bio-product resource remains relatively obscure. This is due to the absence of tailored and

Recognition of algae as a “Fit for Purpose” biomass and its potential as an energy and bio-product resource remains relatively obscure. This is due to the absence of tailored and unified production information necessary to overcome several barriers for commercial viability and environmental sustainability. The purpose of this research was to provide experimentally verifiable estimates for direct energy and water demand for the algal cultivation stage which yields algal biomass for biofuels and other bio-products. Algal biomass productivity was evaluated using different cultivation methods in conjunction with assessment for potential reduction in energy and water consumption for production of fuel and feed. Direct water and energy demands are the major focal sustainability metrics in hot and arid climates and are influenced by environmental and operational variables connected with selected algal cultivation technologies. Evaporation is a key component of direct water demand for algal cultivation and directly related to variations in temperature and relative humidity. Temperature control strategies relative to design and operational variables were necessary to mitigate overheating of the outdoor algae culture in panel photobioreactors and sub-optimal cultivation temperature in open pond raceways. Mixing in cultivation systems was a major component in direct energy demand that was provided by aeration in panel bioreactors and paddlewheels in open pond raceways. Management of aeration time to meet required biological interactions provides opportunities for reduced direct energy demand in panel photobioreactors. However, the potential for reduction in direct energy demand in raceway ponds is limited to hydraulics and head loss. Algal cultivation systems were reviewed for potential integration into dairy facilities in order to determine direct energy demand and nutrient requirements for algal biomass production for animal feed. The direct energy assessment was also evaluated for key components of related energy and design parameters for conventional raceway ponds and a gravity fed system. The results of this research provide a platform for selecting appropriate production scenarios with respect to resource use and to ensure a cost effective product with the least environmental burden.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Understanding electro-selective fermentation of Scenedesmus acutus and its effect on lipids extraction and biohydrogenation

Description

Electro-Selective Fermentation (ESF) combines Selective Fermentation (SF) and a Microbial Electrolysis Cell (MEC) to selectively degrade carbohydrate and protein in lipid-rich microalgae biomass, enhancing lipid wet-extraction. In addition, saturated

Electro-Selective Fermentation (ESF) combines Selective Fermentation (SF) and a Microbial Electrolysis Cell (MEC) to selectively degrade carbohydrate and protein in lipid-rich microalgae biomass, enhancing lipid wet-extraction. In addition, saturated long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) are produced via β-oxidation. This dissertation builds understanding of the biochemical phenomena and microbial interactions occurring among fermenters, lipid biohydrogenaters, and anode respiring bacteria (ARB) in ESF. The work begins by proving that ESF is effective in enhancing lipid wet-extraction from Scenedesmus acutus biomass, while also achieving “biohydrogenation” to produce saturated LCFAs. Increasing anode respiration effectively scavenges short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) generated by fermentation, reducing electron loss. However, the effectiveness of ESF depends on biochemical characteristics of the feeding biomass (FB). Four different FB batches yield different lipid-extraction performances, based on the composition of FB’s cellular structure. Finally, starting an ESF reactor with a long solid retention time (SRT), but then switching it to a short SRT provides high lipid extractability and volumetric production with low lipid los. Lipid fermenters can be flushed out with short a SRT, but starting with a short SRT fails achieve good results because fermenters needed to degrading algal protective layers also are flushed out and fail to recover when a long SRT is imposed. These results point to a potentially useful technology to harvest lipid from microalgae, as well as insight about how this technology can be best managed.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Light-dependent growth kinetics and mathematical modeling of synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

Description

One solution to mitigating global climate change is using cyanobacteria or single-celled algae (collectively microalgae) to replace petroleum-based fuels and products, thereby reducing the net release of carbon dioxide.

One solution to mitigating global climate change is using cyanobacteria or single-celled algae (collectively microalgae) to replace petroleum-based fuels and products, thereby reducing the net release of carbon dioxide. This work develops and evaluates a mechanistic kinetic model for light-dependent microalgal growth. Light interacts with microalgae in a variety of positive and negative ways that are captured by the model: light intensity (LI) attenuates through a microalgal culture, light absorption provides the energy and electron flows that drive photosynthesis, microalgae pool absorbed light energy, microalgae acclimate to different LI conditions, too-high LI causes damage to the cells’ photosystems, and sharp increases in light cause severe photoinhibition that inhibits growth. The model accounts for all these phenomena by using a set of state variables that represent the pooled light energy, photoacclimation, PSII photo-damage, PSII repair inhibition and PSI photodamage. Sets of experiments were conducted with the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 during step-changes in light intensity and flashing light. The model was able to represent and explain all phenomena observed in the experiments. This included the spike and depression in growth rate following an increasing light step, the temporary depression in growth rate following a decreasing light step, the shape of the steady-state growth-irradiance curve, and the “blending” of light and dark periods under rapid flashes of light. The LI model is a marked improvement over previous light-dependent growth models, and can be used to design and interpret future experiments and practical systems for generating renewable feedstock to replace petroleum.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Microalgal biofilms for treatment of domestic wastewater and resource recovery

Description

The application of microalgal biofilms in wastewater treatment has great advantages such as abolishing the need for energy intensive aerators and recovering nutrients as energy, thus reducing the energy requirement

The application of microalgal biofilms in wastewater treatment has great advantages such as abolishing the need for energy intensive aerators and recovering nutrients as energy, thus reducing the energy requirement of wastewater treatment several-fold. A 162 cm2 algal biofilm reactor with good wastewater treatment performance and a regular harvesting procedure was studied at lab scale to gain an understanding of effectual parameters such as hydraulic retention time (HRT; 2.6 and 1.3 hrs), liquid level (LL; 0.5 and 1.0 cm), and solids retention time (SRT; 3 and 1.5 wks). A revised synthetic wastewater “Syntho 3.7” was used as a surrogate of domestic primary effluent for nutrient concentration consistency in the feed lines. In the base case (2.6 hr HRT, 0.5 cm LL, and 3 wk SRT), percent removals of 69 ± 2 for total nitrogen (TN), 54 ± 21 for total phosphorous (TP), and 60 ± 7 for chemical oxygen demand (COD) were achieved and 4.0 ± 1.6 g/m2/d dry biomass was produced. A diffusion limitation was encountered when increasing the liquid level, while the potential to further decrease the HRT remains. Nonlinear growth kinetics was observed in comparing SRT variations, and promoting autotrophic growth seems possible. Future work will look towards producing a mathematical model and further testing the aptness of this system for large-scale implementation.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Evaluation of potential agricultural applications of the microalga Scenedesmus dimorphus

Description

Microalgae represent a potential sustainable alternative for the enhancement and protection of agricultural crops. The dry biomass and cellular extracts of Scenedesmus dimorphus were applied as a biofertilizer, a foliar

Microalgae represent a potential sustainable alternative for the enhancement and protection of agricultural crops. The dry biomass and cellular extracts of Scenedesmus dimorphus were applied as a biofertilizer, a foliar spray, and a seed primer to evaluate seed germination, plant growth, and crop yield of Roma tomato plants. The dry biomass was applied as a biofertilizer at 50 g and 100 g per plant, to evaluate its effects on plant development and crop yield. Biofertilizer treatments enhanced plant growth and led to greater crop (fruit) production. Timing of biofertilizer application proved to be of importance - earlier 50 g biofertilizer application resulted in greater plant growth. Scenedesmus dimorphus culture, growth medium, and different concentrations (1%, 5%, 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%) of aqueous cell extracts were used as seed primers to determine effects on germination. Seeds treated with Scenedesmus dimorphus culture and with extract concentrations higher than 50 % (0.75 g ml-1) triggered faster germination - 2 days earlier than the control group. Extract foliar sprays of 50 ml and 100 ml, were obtained and applied to tomato plants at various extract concentrations (10%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%). Plant height, flower development and number of branches were significantly enhanced with 50 % (7.5 g ml-1) extracts. Higher concentration sprays led to a decrease in growth. The extracts were further screened to assess potential antimicrobial activity against the bacterium Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, the fungi Candida albicans ATCC 90028 and Aspergillus brasiliensis ATCC 16404. No antimicrobial activity was observed from the microalga extracts on the selected microorganisms.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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MALDI-TOF MS as a rapid characterization tool for economically-relevant microalgae

Description

The ability of microalgae to be mass cultivated and harvested for production of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and biofuels has made microalgae a focal point of scientific investigation. However, negative impacts

The ability of microalgae to be mass cultivated and harvested for production of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and biofuels has made microalgae a focal point of scientific investigation. However, negative impacts on production are essentially inevitable due to the open design of many microalgae mass culture systems. This challenge generates a need for the consistent monitoring of microalgae cultures for health and the presence of contaminants, predators, and competitors. The techniques for monitoring microalgae cultures are generally time-intensive, labor-intensive, and expensive. The scope of this work was to evaluate the use of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) as a viable alternative for the characterization of microalgae cultures. The studies presented here evaluated whether MALDI-TOF MS can be used to: 1) differentiate microalgae at the species and strain levels, 2) characterize simple mixtures of microalgae, 3) detect changes in a single microalgae culture over time, and 4) characterize growth phases of microalgae cultures. This research required the development of a MALDI-TOF MS microalgae analysis protocol for organism characterization. The results yielded in this research showed that MALDI-TOF MS was just as accurate, if not more so, than molecular techniques for the identification of microalgae at the species and strain levels during its logarithmic growth phase. Additionally, results suggest that MALDI-TOF MS is sensitive enough to characterize simple mixtures and detect changes in cultures over time. The data presented here suggests the next logical step is the development of protocols for the near-real time health monitoring of microalgae cultures and detection of contaminants using MALDI-TOF MS.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Photoautotrophic production of biomass, laurate, and soluble organics by Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

Description

Photosynthesis converts sunlight to biomass at a global scale. Among the photosynthetic organisms, cyanobacteria provide an excellent model to study how photosynthesis can become a practical platform of large-scale

Photosynthesis converts sunlight to biomass at a global scale. Among the photosynthetic organisms, cyanobacteria provide an excellent model to study how photosynthesis can become a practical platform of large-scale biotechnology. One novel approach involves metabolically engineering the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 to excrete laurate, which is harvested directly.

This work begins by defining a working window of light intensity (LI). Wild-type and laurate-excreting Synechocystis required an LI of at least 5 µE/m2-s to sustain themselves, but are photo-inhibited by LI of 346 to 598 µE/m2-s.

Fixing electrons into valuable organic products, e.g., biomass and excreted laurate, is critical to success. Wild-type Synechocystis channeled 75% to 84% of its fixed electrons to biomass; laurate-excreting Synechocystis fixed 64 to 69% as biomass and 6.6% to 10% as laurate. This means that 16 to 30% of the electrons were diverted to non-valuable soluble products, and the trend was accentuated with higher LI.

How the Ci concentration depended on the pH and the nitrogen source was quantified by the proton condition and experimentally validated. Nitrate increased, ammonium decreased, but ammonium nitrate stabilized alkalinity and Ci. This finding provides a mechanistically sound tool to manage Ci and pH independently.

Independent evaluation pH and Ci on the growth kinetics of Synechocystis showed that pH 8.5 supported the fastest maximum specific growth rate (µmax): 2.4/day and 1.7/day, respectively, for the wild type and modified strains with LI of 202 µE/m2-s. Half-maximum-rate concentrations (KCi) were less than 0.1 mM, meaning that Synechocystis should attain its µmax with a modest Ci concentration (≥1.0 mM).

Biomass grown with day-night cycles had a night endogenous decay rate of 0.05-1.0/day, with decay being faster with higher LI and the beginning of dark periods. Supplying light at a fraction of daylight reduced dark decay rate and improved overall biomass productivity.

This dissertation systematically evaluates and synthesizes fundamental growth factors of cyanobacteria: light, inorganic carbon (Ci), and pH. LI remains the most critical growth condition to promote biomass productivity and desired forms of biomass, while Ci and pH now can be managed to support optimal productivity.

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  • 2015

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Assessing outdoor algal cultivation in panel and raceway photobioreactors for biomass and lipid productivity

Description

Over the past decade, there has been a revival in applied algal research and attempts at commercialization. However, the main limitation in algal commercialization is the process of cultivation, which

Over the past decade, there has been a revival in applied algal research and attempts at commercialization. However, the main limitation in algal commercialization is the process of cultivation, which is one of the main cost and energy burdens in producing biomass that is economically feasible for different products. There are several parameters that must be considered when growing algae, including the type of growth system and operating mode, preferred organism(s), and many other criteria that affect the process of algal cultivation. The purpose of this dissertation was to assess key variables that affect algal productivity and to improve outdoor algal cultivation procedures. The effect of reducing or eliminating aeration of algal cultures at night, in flat panel photobioreactors (panels), was investigated to assess the reduction of energy consumption at night. The lack of aeration at night resulted in anoxic conditions, which significantly reduced lipid accumulation and productivity, but did not affect log phase biomass productivity. In addition, the reduction in aeration resulted in lower pH values, which prevented ammonia volatility and toxicity. Raceways are operated at deeper cultivation depths, which limit culture density and light exposure. Experimentation was accomplished to determine the effects of decreasing cultivation depth, which resulted in increased lipid accumulation and lipid productivity, but did not significantly affect biomass productivity. A comparison of semi-continuous cultivation of algae in raceways and panels in side-by-side experiments showed that panels provided better temperature control and higher levels of mixing, which resulted in higher biomass productivity. In addition, sub-optimal morning temperatures in raceways compared to panels were a significant factor in reducing algae biomass productivity. The results from this research indicate that increasing lipid productivity and biomass productivity cannot be completed simultaneously. Therefore, the desired product will determine if lipid or biomass productivity is more crucial, which also dictates whether the system should be operated in batch mode to either allow lipid accumulation or in semi-continuous mode to allow high biomass productivity. This work is a critical step in improving algal cultivation by understanding key variables that limit biomass and lipid productivity.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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The potential of coastal marine filtration as a feedstock source for biodiesel

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Second-generation biofuel feedstocks are currently grown in land-based systems that use valuable resources like water, electricity and fertilizer. This study investigates the potential of near-shore marine (ocean) seawater filtration as

Second-generation biofuel feedstocks are currently grown in land-based systems that use valuable resources like water, electricity and fertilizer. This study investigates the potential of near-shore marine (ocean) seawater filtration as a source of planktonic biomass for biofuel production. Mixed marine organisms in the size range of 20µm to 500µm were isolated from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) seawater filtration system during weekly backwash events between the months of April and August, 2011. The quantity of organic material produced was determined by sample combustion and calculation of ash-free dry weights. Qualitative investigation required density gradient separation with the heavy liquid sodium metatungstate followed by direct transesterification and gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) of the fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) produced. A maximum of 0.083g/L of dried organic material was produced in a single backwash event and a study average of 0.036g/L was calculated. This equates to an average weekly value of 7,674.75g of dried organic material produced from the filtration of approximately 24,417,792 liters of seawater. Temporal variations were limited. Organic quantities decreased over the course of the study. Bio-fouling effects from mussel overgrowth inexplicably increased production values when compared to un-fouled seawater supply lines. FAMEs (biodiesel) averaged 0.004% of the dried organic material with 0.36ml of biodiesel produced per week, on average. C16:0 and C22:6n3 fatty acids comprised the majority of the fatty acids in the samples. Saturated fatty acids made up 30.71% to 44.09% and unsaturated forms comprised 55.90% to 66.32% of the total chemical composition. Both quantities and qualities of organics and FAMEs were unrealistic for use as biodiesel but sample size limitations, system design, geographic and temporal factors may have impacted study results.

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Date Created
  • 2011