Effects of wastewater microalgae harvesting methods on polyhydroxybutyrate production

Asif Rahman, Renil J. Anthony, Ashik Sathish, Ronald C. Sims, and Charles D. Miller

Bioresource Technology

Microalgae have gained considerable attention recently as a sustainable means to produce biofuels and bioproducts. It has previously been demonstrated that single strain microalgae can be harvested and processed through a wet lipid extraction procedure (WLEP). After WLEP processing, acetone, butanol, ethanol, and biodiesel can be produced, and growth of recombinant Escherichia coli can be achieved from the microalgae. This study demonstrates the application of different wastewater microalgae harvesting techniques and processing through WLEP on the production of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) by E. coli. The harvesting techniques include: cationic potato starch (CPS), cationic corn starch (CCS), aluminum sulfate, and centrifugation. The microalgae-based media were used to grow E. coli to ∼1013 CFU/mL and produce approximately 7.8% of dry cell weight as PHB. This study demonstrates the feasibility of harvesting wastewater algae to produce PHB and the potential for bioproduct generation.

Rahman, A., Anthony, R. J., Sathish, A., Sims, R. C. & Miller, C. D. Effects of wastewater microalgae harvesting methods on polyhydroxybutyrate production. Bioresour. Technol. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2014.01.034

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