Development of technological alternatives to produce renewable fuels from oleaginous microorganisms Open Access
- Other title
Alternative, renewable fuels
- Type of item
- Degree grantor
University of Alberta
- Author or creator
Espinosa Gonzalez, Maria I
- Supervisor and department
Bressler, David C (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
- Examining committee member and department
Rehmann, Lars (Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Western Ontario)
McMullen, Lynn (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
El-Din, Mohamed Gamal (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Kav, Kat (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science
- Date accepted
- Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
- Degree level
Microbial lipids are a promising feedstock for the production of renewable fuels. However, use of microbial lipids has been hindered due to challenges in the cultivating and processing of microbes. Thus, innovative technologies are required to enhance the feasibility of integrating oleaginous microorganisms into biofuel production strategies. Development of such technologies is the primary goal of this thesis.
Slurries of oleaginous microbial biomasses (microalgae Chlorella protothecoides and yeast Cryptococcus curvatus) were thermally hydrolyzed under subcritical conditions. Hydrolysis products including fatty acids, aqueous byproduct streams, and insolubles, were separated and characterized. Fatty acids were subsequently pyrolyzed to yield renewable fuels.
Microalgae and yeast were also cultured in aqueous byproduct streams from the hydrothermal processing of fats, oils, and oleaginous biomasses. Both model microorganisms used the glycerol byproduct from hydrolysis of fats and oils as a carbon source and displayed growth and lipid accumulation comparable to or better than cultures grown in pure glycerol. Similarly, supplementation of microbial cultures with microbial aqueous byproduct streams promoted higher biomass production compared to non-supplemented cultures.
Finally, microalgae was grown using whey permeate, a byproduct from the cheese industry. Pre-hydrolyzed whey promoted heterotrophic growth of this microalgae in both batch and fed-batch modes. Furthermore, whey permeate could be consumed by microalgae using simultaneous saccharification and fermentation.
The technologies for producing and using oleaginous biomasses proposed in this research reduce processing steps and valorize industrial waste streams. They also generate a suitable feedstock for renewable fuel production and a nutrient-rich supplement for microbial cultivation.
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- Citation for previous publication
Espinosa-Gonzalez I., et al. (2014) Bioresource Technology (158).Espinosa-Gonzalez I., et al. (2013). Bioresource Technology (155)Espinosa-Gonzalez I., et al. (2014) Journal of Biotechnology (187)Espinosa-Gonzalez I.,(2014) Bioresource Technology. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2014.08.006.
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