Algal Biorefinery and Microbial Fuel Cells 2021

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2022) | Viewed by 12401

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Pusan National University (PNU), Busan 46241, Korea
Interests: microalgae; fermentation; bioenergy; biorefinery; biohydrogen; bioelectrochemical conversion
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Guest Editor
Department of Science and Environment, Roskilde University, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
Interests: microalgal research on physiology; bioproducts; biorefinery; biomass harvesting; CO2 sequestration; wastewater treatment
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Guest Editor
Gwangju Bio/Energy R&D Center, Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER), Daejeon 300-010, Korea
Interests: bio-electrochemical systems to produce sustainable energy resources; application of chemically functionalized magnetic nanomaterials; bioconversion of soil pollutants to multi-functional amino acids by bacteria
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fossil resource depletion and problems related to global warming are driving the demand for renewable and environmentally friendly fuels and chemicals in our society. Recently, photosynthetic microalgae- and electroactive bacteria-based biorefinery technologies have attracted great attention in both academic and industrial fields. Microalgal biomass can be applied to a variety of industrial applications such as bioenergy, animal/aquaculture feeds, food supplements, and nutraceuticals. In microbial fuel cells (MFCs), electricity, and value-added products (such as ethanol and 3-hydroxyproionic acid) can be simultaneously produced from organic substrates. In addition, renewable electricity can be used to provide a reducing equivalent that is essential for the metabolism of diverse microorganisms to produce alcohols and organic acids. This Special Issue covers recent achievements in microalgae and biofuel cell technologies, including biocatalysts, reactors, process optimization, power generation, bio-products diversification, and upscaling.

Dr. You-Kwan Oh
Prof. Dr. Praveen Ramasamy
Dr. Soo Youn Lee
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Microalgae
  • Biorefinery
  • Biofuel
  • High-value products
  • Microbial fuel cells
  • Biofuel cell
  • Electro-fermentation
  • Bio-electricity

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

8 pages, 1099 KiB  
Article
Effect of Photoperiod and Glycerol Supplementation on the Biomass Productivity and Protein Production of Spirulina sp. LEB 18 Cultures
by Etiele Greque de Morais, Jenyfer de Almeida Conceição, Itaciara Larroza Nunes, Janice Izabel Druzian, Michele Greque de Morais, Ana Priscila Centeno da Rosa and Jorge Alberto Vieira Costa
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(23), 12329; https://doi.org/10.3390/app122312329 - 02 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1497
Abstract
Changes in nutritional and lighting conditions to obtain compounds of interest and biomass via microalgal cultures are among the main foci of studies in algal biotechnology. Growth medium supplementation using organic compounds, such as glycerol, is a promising approach for increasing biomass productivity [...] Read more.
Changes in nutritional and lighting conditions to obtain compounds of interest and biomass via microalgal cultures are among the main foci of studies in algal biotechnology. Growth medium supplementation using organic compounds, such as glycerol, is a promising approach for increasing biomass productivity and the viability of microalgal cultivation and adding value to byproducts of the biodiesel industry. In this study, the influence of crude glycerol on Spirulina sp. LEB 18 was investigated via culturing using different photoperiods, and its effect on biomass composition and cell growth was evaluated. The microalgae were subjected to three photoperiods (continuous light, 24:0; 12 h light and 12 h dark, 12:12; and no illumination, 0:24) and crude glycerol supplementation (2.5 g L−1); better productivity and biomass concentrations were obtained in cultures with a 12:12 photoperiod (28.36 mg L−1 h−1 and 1.24 g L−1, respectively). Under this condition, the highest protein yield was achieved (647.3 mg L−1, 52.2% w w−1), and the obtained biomass showed favorable characteristics for applications in animal feed enrichment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Algal Biorefinery and Microbial Fuel Cells 2021)
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11 pages, 1777 KiB  
Article
Enhancement of Growth and Paramylon Production of Euglena gracilis by Upcycling of Spent Tomato Byproduct as an Alternative Medium
by Sunah Kim, Riry Wirasnita, Donghyun Lee, Jaecheul Yu and Taeho Lee
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(17), 8182; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11178182 - 03 Sep 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2639
Abstract
Euglena gracilis (E. gracilis) accumulates paramylon, an immune-functional beta-glucan that can be used as a functional food. Paramylon production is strongly affected by the organic carbon source and the initial pH conditions. Food processing byproducts have attracted attention for microalgal cultivation because [...] Read more.
Euglena gracilis (E. gracilis) accumulates paramylon, an immune-functional beta-glucan that can be used as a functional food. Paramylon production is strongly affected by the organic carbon source and the initial pH conditions. Food processing byproducts have attracted attention for microalgal cultivation because of their low cost and abundance of nutrients, including carbon and nitrogen. We investigated the optimal carbon source and its concentration for efficient paramylon production. A spent tomato byproduct (STB) generated from a tomato processing plant was applied for biomass and paramylon production from E. gracilis with respect to the initial pH condition. The highest paramylon concentration (1.2 g L−1) and content (58.2%) were observed with 15 g L−1 glucose. The biomass production increased when STB was used as compared with that when a synthetic medium was used (1.6-fold higher at pH 3 and 2-fold higher at pH 8). The optimal initial pH was determined according to the maximum production of biomass and paramylon. Upcycling the food processing byproduct, STB, can contribute not only to cost reduction of the biorefinery process using E. gracilis but also to environmental remediation by removing organic carbon and nitrogen from the byproducts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Algal Biorefinery and Microbial Fuel Cells 2021)
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10 pages, 4137 KiB  
Article
Surface Modification of a Graphite Felt Cathode with Amide-Coupling Enhances the Electron Uptake of Rhodobacter sphaeroides
by Hana Nur Fitriana, Jiye Lee, Sangmin Lee, Myounghoon Moon, Yu Rim Lee, You-Kwan Oh, Myeonghwa Park, Jin-Suk Lee, Jinju Song and Soo Youn Lee
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(16), 7585; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11167585 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1934
Abstract
Microbial electrosynthesis (MES) is a promising technology platform for the production of chemicals and fuels from CO2 and external conducting materials (i.e., electrodes). In this system, electroactive microorganisms, called electrotrophs, serve as biocatalysts for cathodic reaction. While several CO2-fixing microorganisms [...] Read more.
Microbial electrosynthesis (MES) is a promising technology platform for the production of chemicals and fuels from CO2 and external conducting materials (i.e., electrodes). In this system, electroactive microorganisms, called electrotrophs, serve as biocatalysts for cathodic reaction. While several CO2-fixing microorganisms can reduce CO2 to a variety of organic compounds by utilizing electricity as reducing energy, direct extracellular electron uptake is indispensable to achieve highly energy-efficient reaction. In the work reported here, Rhodobacter sphaeroides, a CO2-fixing chemoautotroph and a potential electroactive bacterium, was adopted to perform a cathodic CO2 reduction reaction via MES. To promote direct electron uptake, the graphite felt cathode was modified with a combination of chitosan and carbodiimide compound. Robust biofilm formation promoted by amide functionality between R. sphaeroides and a graphite felt cathode showed significantly higher faradaic efficiency (98.0%) for coulomb to biomass and succinic acid production than those of the bare (34%) and chitosan-modified graphite cathode (77.8%), respectively. The results suggest that cathode modification using a chitosan/carbodiimide composite may facilitate electron utilization by improving direct contact between an electrode and R. sphaeroides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Algal Biorefinery and Microbial Fuel Cells 2021)
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14 pages, 4510 KiB  
Article
Loading Effects of Aminoclays in Co-Culture of Two Cyanobacterial Microcystis and Anabaena Species as an Algicidal Role
by Minh Kim Nguyen, Vu Khac Hoang Bui, Chi-Yong Ahn, Hee-Mock Oh, Jin-Soo Koh, Ju-Young Moon and Young-Chul Lee
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 5607; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11125607 - 17 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1596
Abstract
In recent decades, harmful algal blooms (HABs) have been significantly affecting environments, aquatic ecosystems, and human health, as well as damaging economies, especially near rivers and lakes, and in coastal regions. Microcystis and Anabaena are two genera of harmful cyanobacteria that will often [...] Read more.
In recent decades, harmful algal blooms (HABs) have been significantly affecting environments, aquatic ecosystems, and human health, as well as damaging economies, especially near rivers and lakes, and in coastal regions. Microcystis and Anabaena are two genera of harmful cyanobacteria that will often predominate during toxic microalgal blooms. In this study, we employ a method for control and mitigation of HABs by microalgal cell instability using different types of aminoclays (ACs). Allelopathic interactions between the two strains of algae are studied in mono-culture, co-culture, and filtrated cell-free medium in the presence of the ACs. The growth of the Anabaena strain is significantly reduced by the cyanobacterial strains in the co-culture media, and both are significantly affected by the Acs’-enhanced algicidal activity. Anabaena sp. KVSF7 shows higher sensitivity against the ACs than does Microcystis sp. KW. In this way, the algicidal activity of ACs is harnessed, the effects of which are in the order of aluminum aminoclay (AlAC) > magnesium aminoclay (MgAC) > calcium aminoclay (CaAC). The ammonium sites in the ACs carry positive charges to induce instability of HABs along with the electrostatic attraction between algal cells and AC. Therefore, the utilization of the algicidal activity of the ACs can effectively reduce HABs, especially on cyanobacterial blooms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Algal Biorefinery and Microbial Fuel Cells 2021)
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9 pages, 10679 KiB  
Article
Electric Stimulation of Astaxanthin Biosynthesis in Haematococcus pluvialis
by Hana-Nur Fitriana, Soo-Youn Lee, Sun-A Choi, Ji-Ye Lee, Bo-Lam Kim, Jin-Suk Lee and You-Kwan Oh
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 3348; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11083348 - 08 Apr 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3360
Abstract
The green microalga Haematococcus pluvialis accumulates astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant pigment, as a defense mechanism against environmental stresses. In this study, we investigated the technical feasibility of a stress-based method for inducing astaxanthin biosynthesis in H. pluvialis using electric stimulation in a two-chamber [...] Read more.
The green microalga Haematococcus pluvialis accumulates astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant pigment, as a defense mechanism against environmental stresses. In this study, we investigated the technical feasibility of a stress-based method for inducing astaxanthin biosynthesis in H. pluvialis using electric stimulation in a two-chamber bioelectrochemical system. When a cathodic (reduction) current of 3 mA (voltage: 2 V) was applied to H. pluvialis cells for two days, considerable lysis and breakage of algal cells were observed, possibly owing to the formation of excess reactive oxygen species at the cathode. Conversely, in the absence of cell breakage, the application of anodic (oxidation) current effectively stimulated astaxanthin biosynthesis at a voltage range of 2–6 V, whereas the same could not be induced in the untreated control. At an optimal voltage of 4 V (anodic current: 30 mA), the astaxanthin content in the cells electro-treated for 2 h was 36.9% higher than that in untreated cells. Our findings suggest that electric treatment can be used to improve astaxanthin production in H. pluvialis culture if bioelectrochemical parameters, such as electric strength and duration, are regulated properly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Algal Biorefinery and Microbial Fuel Cells 2021)
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