FAME Production and Fatty Acid Profiles from Moist Chlorella sp. and Nannochloropsis oculata Biomass
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In the present study, we investigated the production of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) from moist Chlorella sp. and Nannochloropsis oculata biomass using a hydrolysis–esterification process. Additionally, we evaluated for the first time the fatty acid profile before and after this process. Hydrolysis of the lipid fraction was performed on a moist biomass in the presence of differing amounts of an acid catalyst in both 50 and 100 % w/w water relative to the biomass. The esterification of the crude extracts of the free fatty acids (FFA) was then investigated. The experiments show that in the presence of 50 % w/w water relative to the biomass, the hydrolysis–esterification process results in higher FFA and FAME yields. The analysis of the fatty ester profiles did not reveal any degradation of the FFA from the microalgae biomass under the hydrolysis–esterification conditions. The results were compared with both extraction–transesterification and direct transesterification processes using dry biomass. The extraction–transesterification and hydrolysis–esterification processes resulted in similar FAME yields and similar profiles of the fatty esters from dry and moist biomass materials, respectively.
KeywordsFatty acid profile Microalgae Moist biomass Nannochloropsis oculata Chlorella sp.
The authors would like to thank Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), and Petrobras/Centro de Pesquisas e Desenvolvimento Leopoldo Américo Miguez de Mello (CENPES) for their financial support. Fellowships from CNPq are also acknowledged.
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