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University of KwaZulu-Natal (2018)

Isolation and evaluation of autochthonous microalgae strains for biodiesel production and wastewater treatment

Odjadjare, Ejovwokoghene Collins.

Titre : Isolation and evaluation of autochthonous microalgae strains for biodiesel production and wastewater treatment

Auteur : Odjadjare, Ejovwokoghene Collins.

Université de soutenance : University of KwaZulu-Natal

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Microbiology ; 2018

Résumé partiel
The current depletion of global fossil fuel reserves and increasing CO2 emission are generating global climate change concerns hence, the increasing calls for the development of renewable biofuels with low CO2 emission. Microalgae has been touted as the most suitable feedstock of renewable fuels due to a number of reasons including high biomass productivity, fast growth rates, cost-effective cultivation systems and alleviation of food security concerns associated with use of other feedstock for biofuel production. Bioprospecting could yet reveal microalgae with high lipid contents for biodiesel production and novel characteristics such as production of unique bioactive compounds. With an attractive climate and plenty of sunlight all year round, South Africa is in a unique position to take advantage of these organisms to guarantee her future energy needs. This research thus aims to bioprospect for indigenous strains of microalgae in aquatic habitats and wastewater treatment plants in KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa and evaluate their potential for biofuel production and wastewater remediation. DGGE and T-RFLP fingerprinting techniques were adapted to give an overview of the diversity of microalgae in various aquatic habitats including wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), rivers, estuaries and marine ecosystems in order to identify areas for potential bioprospecting. Ten (10) microalgae species from these aquatic environments were isolated, identified and evaluated for lipid, total carbohydrate and protein accumulation using well defined procedures. The lipid profile, biodiesel characteristics as well as effect of starvation on lipid accumulation were also determined. The biomass production and simultaneous phycoremediation potential of two autochthonous isolates Asterarcys quadricellulare and Neochloris aquatica were also investigated. Microalgae classes ; Trebouxiophyceae and Chlorophyceae were observed to be dominant in fresh water habitat, while those belonging to the class Ulvophycea (Oltmannseillopsis spp.) dominated the salt water environment. At the brackish water habitat, microalgae belonging to the classes Trebouxiophyceae (Chlorella minutissima) and Chlorophyceae (M. sturmi) were dominant.

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