Abstract

The present study assessed the carbohydrate and sugar production from Chlorella spp. biomass harvested from a field scale reactor simulating phycoremediation of swine wastewater. The microalgae biomass was mainly composed by (%): carbohydrates (41 ± 0.4), proteins (50 ± 0.4), and lipids (1.3 ± 0.5). The residual sugar present in the biomass was extracted via acid hydrolysis. Among different concentrations of sulfuric acid tested (i.e., 47, 94, 188, 281 and 563 mM), significantly higher sugar content was obtained with 188 mM (0.496 g-sugar g−1 microalgae-DW). The concentration of sugar present in the microalgae did not differ significantly between the biomasses harvested by either centrifugation or coagulation-flocculation. Two commercially available strains of yeast (i.e., Saccharomyces cerevisiae and S. cerevisiae chardonnay) were tested for their capability to ferment sugar from lyophilized microalgae biomass. S. cerevisiae chardonnay showed a significantly faster consumption of sugar during the exponential growth phase. Both strains of yeast were capable of consuming most of the sugar added ≅ 8 g L−1 within 24 h. Overall, the results suggest that carbohydrate-rich microalgae biomass obtained from the phycoremediation of swine wastewaters can play an important role in green design for industries seeking alternative sources of feedstock rich in sugar.

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