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Advances in Oleaginous Microorganism Technologies for Biofuels and Bioproducts

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 February 2021) | Viewed by 25641

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Patel College of Global Sustainability, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
Interests: sustainable development; renewable energy; renewable fuels; energy policy; integration of renewable energy into the fossil infastructure; sustainable power for small island developing states
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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering, Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan
Interests: oleaginous yeast cultivation; biomass conversion; bioprocess development; supercritical extraction; biofuels; bioproducts

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues:

With the effects of climate change becoming more visible every year in the form of storm intensity, coastal flooding, loss of biodiversity, and climbing temperatures, there is an urgent need to accelerate the pace of green technology development to reduce carbon emissions. Pivotal in such an effort are technologies that employ microorganisms as renewable resources to progressively replace fossil sources in the bioeconomy of the future.

Industrial biotechnology has already propelled pharmaceuticals and therapeutics. It can now help humanity to combat global warming and environmental pollution. Microorganisms represent a diverse source of lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates. Biochemical processes employing microalgae, bacteria, yeast, and fungi have the potential to provide society on a global scale with biofuels for transportation and with a myriad of bioproducts, such as plastics, nutraceuticals, and cosmetics, while playing a key role in bioremediating wastewater.

Researchers from around the world have been reporting findings on those fronts. However, the pace of progress remains slow when it comes to the development and scale-up of biochemical technologies for biobased products. The purpose of this Special Issue is to assist the advancement of bioprocesses by highlighting recent advances in the production of biofuels and bioproducts from oleaginous microalgae, yeast, fungi, and bacteria, which represent a promising renewable resource that can help the global economy become more sustainable in a cost-effective way. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Lipid production by microorganisms for biodiesel and aviation biofuel;
  • Biosynthesis of nutraceuticals, natural cosmetics, and platform chemicals;
  • Metabolic engineering to enhance lipid expression;
  • Development of new cultivation systems and downstream processing;
  • Biochemical and thermochemical conversion of lipids to fuels and chemicals;
  • Use of wastewater for microorganism cultivation;
  • Integration of microalgae and aquaculture operations.

 

Dr. George P. Philippidis
Dr. Hong-Wei Yen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • oleaginous
  • microalgae
  • lipid
  • biofuel
  • bioproduct
  • biodiesel

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 4958 KiB  
Article
Illumination Policies for Stichococcus sp. Cultures in an Optimally Operating Lab-Scale PBR toward the Directed Photosynthetic Production of Desired Products
by Paraskevi Psachoulia and Christos Chatzidoukas
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2489; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052489 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1752
Abstract
The light spectrum effect on the cultivation efficiency of the microalgae strain Stichococcus sp. is explored, as a means of potentially intensifying the biomass productivity and regulating the cellular composition. Stichococcus sp. batch culture experiments, within a 3 L bench-top photobioreactor (PBR), are [...] Read more.
The light spectrum effect on the cultivation efficiency of the microalgae strain Stichococcus sp. is explored, as a means of potentially intensifying the biomass productivity and regulating the cellular composition. Stichococcus sp. batch culture experiments, within a 3 L bench-top photobioreactor (PBR), are designed and implemented under different light spectrum profiles (i.e., cool white light (WL), cool white combined with red light (WRL), and cool white combined with blue light, (WBL)). The obtained results indicate that the studied strain is capable of adapting its metabolite profile to the light field to which it is exposed. The highest biomass concentration (3.5 g/L), combined with intense carbohydrate accumulation activity, resulting in a respective final concentration of 1.15 g/L was achieved within 17 days using exclusively cool white light of increasing intensity. The addition of blue light emitting diodes (LED) light, combined with appropriately selected culture conditions, contributed significantly to the massive synthesis and accumulation of lipids, resulting in a concentration of 1.43 g/L and a respective content of 46.13% w/w, with a distinct impact on biomass, carbohydrates and proteins productivity. Finally, a beneficial contribution of red LED light to the protein synthesis is recognized and this can be conditionally amplified provided nitrogen sufficiency in the culture medium. Full article
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9 pages, 970 KiB  
Article
The Production of Lipids Using 5-Hydorxymethy Furfural Tolerant Rhodotorula graminis Grown on the Hydrolyzates of Steam Pretreated Softwoods
by Seiji Nakagame, Yuta Shimizu and Jack N. Saddler
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 755; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030755 - 21 Jan 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1996
Abstract
Acid catalyzed (SO2) steam pretreated softwoods inevitably contain furans such as 5-hydorxymethy furfural (HMF) and furfural, which are derived from the respective degradation of component hexoses and pentoses. As these materials are known to be inhibitory to fermentation, six oleaginous yeasts [...] Read more.
Acid catalyzed (SO2) steam pretreated softwoods inevitably contain furans such as 5-hydorxymethy furfural (HMF) and furfural, which are derived from the respective degradation of component hexoses and pentoses. As these materials are known to be inhibitory to fermentation, six oleaginous yeasts were grown on corn steep liquor (CSL) medium containing HMF (0.2%) and furfural (0.1%) to assess their resistance to possible inhibition and its possible influence on lipid production. R. graminis showed the highest tolerance to HMF (0.2%) and furfural (0.1%) when they were added individually to the CSL medium. However, when both HMF (0.2%) and furfural (0.1%) were added together, this inhibited the growth of R. graminis. Subsequent evaporation of the CSL medium successfully removed furfural from the CSL medium and increased the sugar concentration. However, the residual concentration of HMF (0.4%) still inhibited R. graminis growth. To try to improve HMF tolerance, R. graminis was slowly acclimatized in medium containing HMF (0.4%) and was eventually able to produce 1.8 g/L of lipids after four days of growth in the HMF containing medium. This was close to the same amount of lipid produced as when R. graminis was grown in the CSL medium without HMF and furfural. This indicated that an acclimatization strategy is a promising way to enhance lipids production when R. graminis is grown on the hydrolyzates of SO2-catalyzed steam pretreated lignocellulosic substrates. Full article
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Review

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19 pages, 1355 KiB  
Review
Prospects of Microalgae for Biomaterial Production and Environmental Applications at Biorefineries
by Lourdes Orejuela-Escobar, Arleth Gualle, Valeria Ochoa-Herrera and George P. Philippidis
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3063; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063063 - 11 Mar 2021
Cited by 43 | Viewed by 5668
Abstract
Microalgae are increasingly viewed as renewable biological resources for a wide range of chemical compounds that can be used as or transformed into biomaterials through biorefining to foster the bioeconomy of the future. Besides the well-established biofuel potential of microalgae, key microalgal bioactive [...] Read more.
Microalgae are increasingly viewed as renewable biological resources for a wide range of chemical compounds that can be used as or transformed into biomaterials through biorefining to foster the bioeconomy of the future. Besides the well-established biofuel potential of microalgae, key microalgal bioactive compounds, such as lipids, proteins, polysaccharides, pigments, vitamins, and polyphenols, possess a wide range of biomedical and nutritional attributes. Hence, microalgae can find value-added applications in the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, personal care, animal food, and agricultural industries. Microalgal biomass can be processed into biomaterials for use in dyes, paints, bioplastics, biopolymers, and nanoparticles, or as hydrochar and biochar in solid fuel cells and soil amendments. Equally important is the use of microalgae in environmental applications, where they can serve in heavy metal bioremediation, wastewater treatment, and carbon sequestration thanks to their nutrient uptake and adsorptive properties. The present article provides a comprehensive review of microalgae specifically focused on biomaterial production and environmental applications in an effort to assess their current status and spur further deployment into the commercial arena. Full article
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27 pages, 1648 KiB  
Review
Harnessing the Power of Mutagenesis and Adaptive Laboratory Evolution for High Lipid Production by Oleaginous Microalgae and Yeasts
by Neha Arora, Hong-Wei Yen and George P. Philippidis
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5125; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125125 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 49 | Viewed by 6077
Abstract
Oleaginous microalgae and yeasts represent promising candidates for large-scale production of lipids, which can be utilized for production of drop-in biofuels, nutraceuticals, pigments, and cosmetics. However, low lipid productivity and costly downstream processing continue to hamper the commercial deployment of oleaginous microorganisms. Strain [...] Read more.
Oleaginous microalgae and yeasts represent promising candidates for large-scale production of lipids, which can be utilized for production of drop-in biofuels, nutraceuticals, pigments, and cosmetics. However, low lipid productivity and costly downstream processing continue to hamper the commercial deployment of oleaginous microorganisms. Strain improvement can play an essential role in the development of such industrial microorganisms by increasing lipid production and hence reducing production costs. The main means of strain improvement are random mutagenesis, adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE), and rational genetic engineering. Among these, random mutagenesis and ALE are straight forward, low-cost, and do not require thorough knowledge of the microorganism’s genetic composition. This paper reviews available mutagenesis and ALE techniques and screening methods to effectively select for oleaginous microalgae and yeasts with enhanced lipid yield and understand the alterations caused to metabolic pathways, which could subsequently serve as the basis for further targeted genetic engineering. Full article
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16 pages, 2184 KiB  
Review
Cultivation of Oily Microalgae for the Production of Third-Generation Biofuels
by Preeti Pal, Kit Wayne Chew, Hong-Wei Yen, Jun Wei Lim, Man Kee Lam and Pau Loke Show
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5424; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195424 - 30 Sep 2019
Cited by 69 | Viewed by 6201
Abstract
Biofuel production by oleaginous microalgae is a promising alternative to the conventional fossil fuels. Many microalgae species have been investigated and deemed as potential renewable sources for the production of biofuel, biogas, food supplements and other products. Oleaginous microalgae, named for their ability [...] Read more.
Biofuel production by oleaginous microalgae is a promising alternative to the conventional fossil fuels. Many microalgae species have been investigated and deemed as potential renewable sources for the production of biofuel, biogas, food supplements and other products. Oleaginous microalgae, named for their ability to produce oil, are reported to store 30–70% of lipid content due to its metabolic properties under nutrient starvation conditions. This review presents the assortment of the research studies focused on biofuel production from oleaginous microalgae. The new methods and technologies developed for oleaginous microalgae cultivation to improve their biomass content and lipid accumulation capacity were reviewed. The production of renewable, carbon neutral, bio-based or microalgae-based transport fuels are necessary for environmental protection and economic sustainability. Microalgae are a significant source of renewable biodiesel because of their ability to produce oils in the presence of sunlight more efficiently than that of crop oils. This review will provide the background to understanding the bottlenecks and the need for improvement in the cultivation or harvesting process for oleaginous microalgae. Full article
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14 pages, 1292 KiB  
Review
Liquid Biphasic Systems for Oil-Rich Algae Bioproducts Processing
by Hui Yi Leong, Chih-Kai Chang, Jun Wei Lim, Pau Loke Show, Dong-Qiang Lin and Jo-Shu Chang
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4682; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174682 - 28 Aug 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3323
Abstract
Oleaginous algae are nowadays of significance for industrial biotechnology applications and for the welfare of society. Tremendous efforts have been put into the development of economically feasible and effective downstream processing techniques in algae research. Currently, Liquid Biphasic Systems (LBSs) are receiving much [...] Read more.
Oleaginous algae are nowadays of significance for industrial biotechnology applications and for the welfare of society. Tremendous efforts have been put into the development of economically feasible and effective downstream processing techniques in algae research. Currently, Liquid Biphasic Systems (LBSs) are receiving much attention from academia and industry for their potential as green and effective downstream processing methods. This article serves to review the applications of LBSs (LBS and Liquid Biphasic Flotation System (LBFS)) in the separation, recovery and purification of algae products, as well as their basic working principles. Moreover, cell disruptive technologies incorporated into LBSs in algae research are reported. This review provides insights into the downstream processing in algae industrial biotechnology which could be beneficial for algae biorefinement. Full article
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