A Novel Method to Harvest Microalgae Via Fungal Pelletization

Sustainable Engineering Forum
2011 AIChE Annual Meeting
AIChE Annual Meeting
October 17, 2011 - 8:00pm

Microalgae harvest contributes a large portion of cost for microalgae-to-biofuels production. Most current harvest technologies including chemical and mechanical methods are only economically feasible for production of high-value products due to the costs. In this work, we are describing a new method to harvest microalgae cells by co-culturing filamentous fungi and forming pellets. We have confirmed that the oleaginous fungi can form pellets at controlled cultural conditions and we also discovered that by co-culturing microalgae with filamentous fungi, the fungal hyphae can entrap microalgae cells into the fungal pellets. Compare to individual microalgae cells, the fungal-microalgae pellets are significantly larger and they can be harvested via a simply filtration. This approach is easy to operation, without an extra requirement of additional machines. Lipid profile of our fungal-microalgae pellet is C18:1, C18:0, C16:0, C16:1 which are right sources of biodiesel production.
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