Chlorella sp. MCC 7 and Botryococcus sp. MCC 31 were investigated to enable large-scale biodiesel production from minimal constituents in the growth medium. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to maximise the biomass productivity and lipid yield using only nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) as urea, single super phosphate and muriate of potash. The optimum values were 0.42 g/L nitrogen; 0.14 g/L phosphorus and 0.22 g/L potassium for Chlorella sp.; and 0.46 g/L; 0.14 g/L and 0.25 g/L for Botryococcus sp. Lipid yield of 42% for Chlorella sp. and 52% in Botryococcus sp. was observed. An enhancement in lipid yield by approximately 55% for Chlorella sp. and 73% for Botryococcus sp. was registered as compared to original nutrient medium. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis of extracted lipids revealed characteristic bands for triglycerides. This study provided utilisation of a practicable nutrient recipe in the form of N, P, K input for enhanced lipid yield from the selected microalgal strains.

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