Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about LiqofluxPhenometrics Buy 3 Get 1 Free
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Innovations

Algal residue — an alternative carbon resource

April 12, 2017
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Algal starch residue, commonly discarded after extraction of oil, can be used to produce valuable industrial chemicals alkyl levulinate and alkyl lactate. Credit: Tokyo Institute of Technology

Many microalgae strains have received attention in biomass production due to their high biomass productivity per unit time and per unit area. Algae produce oil as well as carbohydrates, occurring mainly in the form of starch. Oil derived from algae has recently been adopted for use in jet fuels and biodiesel. Largely overlooked, however, was the starch remaining in algal cells after oil extraction.

Tokyo Institute of Technology researcher Sho Yamaguchi and colleagues found that this residual starch can be converted into alkyl lactate and alkyl levulinate, important chemicals in the production of pharmaceuticals, additives, and polyesters.

Two molecules of lactic acid can be dehydrated to lactone lactide and subsequently polymerized to either atactic or syndiotactic polylactide, which are biodegradable polyesters. Levulinic acid, on the other hand, is used as a precursor for pharmaceuticals and additives like plasticizers, as well as a starting material for a wide number of compounds.

The researchers found that using homogeneous Sn(OTf)2 led to an increase in the yield of alkyl levulinate, while using SnBr4 allowed for the selective production of alkyl lactate. Their results show that algae can be utilized as a carbon resource for chemicals that are applied in a wide range of industries. This could lead to algae biomass becoming a new alternative carbon resource to fossil fuels, say the researchers.

Dr. Yamaguchi and colleagues examined various homogeneous catalysts to optimize the selective production of methyl levulinate and methyl lactate. They state, however, that further development of heterogeneous catalysts is needed before the process can be put to practical use. Additionally, they recognize the importance in understanding the underlying mechanisms of starch production in algae, as doing so could lead to further advances in algal biomass production.

More Like This…

Copyright ©2010-2019 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Environmental Technology magazine notes that the difficulty in predicting how algae blooms will develop lies in their variform nature. With a multitude of different bloom...
Sophie Kevany writes in Decanter.com that a group of vineyards in France’s Bordeaux and Cognac regions are exploring whether algae can be used to prevent the fungal infec...
42 Technology has been appointed by LabXero, acoustic particle filtration technology company, to help develop pilot-scale biomanufacturing equipment that could significan...
The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) reports the introduction of the Algae Agriculture Act of 2018 (H.R. 5373), a bill that would give algae cultivators and harvesters ma...
Algae and corals have been leaning on each other since dinosaurs roamed the earth, much longer than had been previously thought, according to new research led by scientis...
French researchers have been exploring the potential of algae for boosting the immune systems of animals and reducing the use of antibiotics in livestock farming. Past st...
E.A. Crunden writes in thinkprogress.org that Florida’s first gubernatorial debate was dominated by environmental and climate issues, with an emphasis on the state’s alga...
Mazda U.K. has announced that they are currently involved in joint research projects and studies as part of an ongoing industry-academia-government collaboration to promo...
Amy Thompson writes in Space.com that SpaceX successfully launched its 15th Space Station cargo-resupply mission on Friday, June 29; carrying a payload of experiments des...
London-based architectural and urban design firm ecoLogicStudio www.ecologicstudio.com, led by Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto, has unveiled Photo.Synth.Etica, a large...
Foodbev.com reports that French marine ingredients company Algaia will install a new specialty seaweed extract unit at its facility in Brittany, France, after securing €4...
The Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative, a technology-based economic development program funded by the state of Utah, has awarded a $175,320 grant for...