Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about Liqofluxphenometrics515R1
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 ©2010-2018 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
Carl Zimmer writes in The New York Times about a team of Australian scientists studying how climate change will alter ecosystems – by using miniature ecosystems, called m...
Algatech has announced the opening of Algatech Inc., a New York City-based subsidiary created to serve the North American market. The company has appointed Ken Seguine to...
Adoption of advanced technologies in various stages of natural astaxanthin production, such as microalgae harvesting, cultivation, extraction, and drying, have been major...
Sex self-destruction represents a fascinating new scientific mystery that includes climate chaos, ghost forests, temperature spikes, fierce storms, colossal nutrient coll...
Malaysia-based Algaetech International, a pioneer algae technology company specializing in R&D, as well as production and commercialization of algae-derived high valu...
Portuguese microalgae producer, Allmicroalgae Natural Products S.A., has recently begun production of Chlorella vulgaris and other microalgae species via fermentation, wh...
Watertechonline.com reports that the All-Gas project in the El Torno treatment plant in Chiclana, in southwestern Spain, in the province of Cádiz, has started its demonst...
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...
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...
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...
At the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Science Nordic.com reports, researchers are investigating bioluminescent algae, to determine whether bioluminescent organism...
Have some of the final engineering limitations of microalgae been overcome? Can microalgae be hosts for genetic engineering as powerful as bacteria and yeast? A promising...