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Title: Biocrude Production Using a Novel Cyanobacterium: Pilot-Scale Cultivation and Lipid Extraction via Hydrothermal Liquefaction
The use of renewable energy to reduce fossil fuel consumption is a key strategy to mitigate pollution and climate change, resulting in the growing demand for new sources. Fast-growing proprietary cyanobacterial strains of Fremyella diplosiphon with an average life cycle of 7–10 days, and a proven capacity to generate lipids for biofuel production are currently being studied. In this study, we investigated the growth and photosynthetic pigmentation of a cyanobacterial strain (SF33) in both greenhouse and outdoor bioreactors, and produced biocrude via hydrothermal liquefaction. The cultivation of F. diplosiphon did not significantly differ under suboptimal conditions (p < 0.05), including in outdoor bioreactors with growth differences of less than 0.04 (p = 0.035) among various batches. An analysis of the biocrude’s components revealed the presence of fatty acid biodiesel precursors such as palmitic acid and behenic acid, and alkanes such as hexadecane and heptadecane, used as biofuel additives. In addition, the quantification of value-added photosynthetic pigments revealed chlorophyll a and phycocyanin concentrations of 0.0011 ± 5.83 × 10−5 µg/µL and 7.051 ± 0.067 µg/µg chlorophyll a. Our results suggest the potential of F. diplosiphon as a robust species that can grow at varying temperatures ranging from 13 °C to 32 more » °C, while producing compounds for applications ranging from biofuel to nutritional supplements. The outcomes of this study pave the way for production-level scale-up and processing of F. diplosiphon-derived biofuels and marketable bioproducts. Fuel produced using this technology will be eco-friendly and cost-effective, and will make full use of the geographical location of regions with access to brackish waters. « less
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National Science Foundation
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