Bioethanol production using carbohydrate-rich microalgae biomass as feedstock.

Research paper by Shih-Hsin SH Ho, Shu-Wen SW Huang, Chun-Yen CY Chen, Tomohisa T Hasunuma, Akihiko A Kondo, Jo-Shu JS Chang

Indexed on: 03 Nov '12Published on: 03 Nov '12Published in: Bioresource Technology


This study aimed to evaluate the potential of using a carbohydrate-rich microalga Chlorella vulgaris FSP-E as feedstock for bioethanol production via various hydrolysis strategies and fermentation processes. Enzymatic hydrolysis of C. vulgaris FSP-E biomass (containing 51% carbohydrate per dry weight) gave a glucose yield of 90.4% (or 0.461 g (g biomass)(-1)). The SHF and SSF processes converted the enzymatic microalgae hydrolysate into ethanol with a 79.9% and 92.3% theoretical yield, respectively. Dilute acidic hydrolysis with 1% sulfuric acid was also very effective in saccharifying C. vulgaris FSP-E biomass, achieving a glucose yield of nearly 93.6% from the microalgal carbohydrates at a starting biomass concentration of 50 g L(-1). Using the acidic hydrolysate of C. vulgaris FSP-E biomass as feedstock, the SHF process produced ethanol at a concentration of 11.7 g L(-1) and an 87.6% theoretical yield. These findings indicate the feasibility of using carbohydrate-producing microalgae as feedstock for fermentative bioethanol production.