Lookup NU author(s): Dr Thea Ekins-Coward,
Dr Jonathan Lee,
Dr Gary Caldwell
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
Foam flotation is an effective and energy efficient method of harvesting microalgae. This study has investigated the influence of growth phase and lipid content on harvesting efficiency. The highest biomass concentration factors were gained during active culture growth. Surprisingly, the quantities of lipid recovered from microalgae harvested by foam flotation aided by cetly trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), were significantly higher than from cells harvested by centrifugation. Further, cells harvested by foam flotation exhibited a lipid profile more suited to biodiesel conversion containing increased levels of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. The enhanced lipid recovery was partially explained by the interaction of the cells with the surfactant, CTAB, which adsorbed onto the algae and was carried over into the total lipid extraction process. However, further evidence also suggested that CTAB promoted in situ cell lysis by solubilising the phospholipid bilayer, thus increasing the amount of extractable lipid. This work demonstrates substantial added value of foam flotation as a microalgae harvesting method beyond energy efficient biomass recovery.
Author(s): Coward T, Lee JGM, Caldwell GS
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Biomass and Bioenergy
Print publication date: 01/08/2014
Online publication date: 14/06/2014
Acceptance date: 24/05/2014
Date deposited: 23/07/2014
ISSN (print): 0961-9534
ISSN (electronic): 1873-2909
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