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Potentials of exploiting heterotrophic metabolism for biodiesel oil production by microalgae.

Ogbonna, J.C. and Moheimani, N.R.ORCID: 0000-0003-2310-4147 Potentials of exploiting heterotrophic metabolism for biodiesel oil production by microalgae. In: Moheimani, N.R., McHenry, M.P., de Boer, K. and Bahri, P.A., (eds.) Biomass and Biofuels from Microalgae. Springer International Publishing, pp. 45-61.

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The current prices of microalgae oils are much higher than oils from higher plants (vegetable oils) mainly due to the high cost of photoautotrophic cultivation of microalgae. However, many strains of microalgae can also grow and produce oil using organic carbons, as the carbon source under dark (heterotrophy) or light conditions (mixotrophy). Lipid productivities of most strains of microalgae are higher in culture systems that incorporate heterotrophic metabolisms (presence of organic carbon source) than under photoautotrophic conditions. This is because for many strains, cell growth rates and final cell concentrations are higher in heterotrophic cultures than in photoautotrophic cultures. Furthermore, in some cases, the oil contents of the cells are also higher in cultures incorporating heterotrophic metabolisms. It has also been reported for some strains that the quality of oil produced in the presence of organic carbon sources are more suitable for biodiesel oil production than those produced under photoautotrophic conditions. Thus, heterotrophy can be used to reduce the cost of biodiesel oil production, but the effectiveness of the various organic carbons in supporting cell growth and oil accumulation depends on the strain and other culture conditions. Use of wastewaters for cultivation of microalgae can further substantially reduce the cost of production (since they contain carbon, nitrogen, and other nutrients) and also reduce the requirement for freshwater. Generally, many factors such as nitrogen limitation, phosphate limitation, silicon limitation, control of pH, and low temperature can be used to increase oil accumulation, although their effectiveness depends on the strain and other culture conditions.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Copyright: © 2015 Springer International Publishing Switzerland
Other Information: Series Title: Biofuel and Biorefinery Technologies; Vol. 2
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