Bioresource technology

Effect of salt type and concentration on the growth and lipid content of Chlorella vulgaris in synthetic saline wastewater for biofuel production.

PMID 28651134


Microalgae can offer several benefits for wastewater treatment with their ability to produce large amounts of lipids for biofuel production and the high economic value of harvested biomass for biogas and fertilizer. This study found that salt concentration (∼45gL-1) had more of an effect than salt type on metabolisms of Chlorella vulgaris for wastewater treatment and biofuel production. Salinity stress decreased the algal growth rate in wastewater by 0.003day-1permScm-1 and slightly reduced nutrient removal rates. However, salinity stress was shown to increase total lipid content from 11.5% to 16.1% while also increasing the saturated portions of fatty acids in C. vulgaris. In addition, salinity increased the algal settling rate from 0.06 to 0.11mday-1 which could potentially reduce the cost of harvesting for algal biofuel production. Overall, C. vulgaris makes a suitable candidate for high salinity wastewater cultivation and biofuel production.

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