BioEnergy Research

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 103–114 | Cite as

Intensifying Clean Energy Production Through Cultivating Mixotrophic Microalgae from Digestates of Biogas Systems: Effects of Light Intensity, Medium Dilution, and Cultivating Time

  • Sumate Chaiprapat
  • Tarinee Sasibunyarat
  • Boonya Charnnok
  • Benjamas Cheirsilp


High-strength wastewaters after being digested for biogas production in anaerobic digesters still contain substantial nutrients and organics. The anaerobic digestates from four major industries in Thailand were tested with batch cultivation of Chlorella sp. for oil production potentials. Pig farm digestate was found most suitable as the growth medium generating 0.95 g/Lmedium (dry biomass), which was 1.16–3.06 times of other digestates tested. Considerable removals of nitrogen and phosphorus achieved were an added benefit to the goal of ultimate treatment of these wastewaters. Light intensity had strong influence on growth and heterotrophic metabolism up to 78 μmol/m2/s, while the dilution of digestate above 2.4× diminished growth potential and lipid production. A quadratic regression model was constructed to describe interaction of light intensity, dilution factor, and time of cultivation to lipid production with a satisfactory precision. Light intensity could influence fatty acid composition, although palmitic acid was found predominant at 47.1 %. The algae oil generated could potentially increase the total energy output from anaerobic digesters of a typical pig farm by 22 %.


Chlorella sp. Lipid Light Digestate Dilution Biogas 



This research was financially supported by the Annual Research Budget of the Prince of Songkla University (PSU) contract no. ENG570183S and Graduate School of PSU, Thailand. The authors would like to recognize the full support for research facility of the Biogas and Biorefinery Research Laboratory, Faculty of Engineering, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sumate Chaiprapat
    • 1
  • Tarinee Sasibunyarat
    • 1
  • Boonya Charnnok
    • 2
  • Benjamas Cheirsilp
    • 3
  1. 1.Energy Technology Research Center, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringPrince of Songkla University, Hat Yai CampusHat YaiThailand
  2. 2.PSU Energy System Research Institute, Research and Development OfficePrince of Songkla University, Hat Yai CampusHat YaiThailand
  3. 3.Department of Industrial Biotechnology, Faculty of Agro-IndustryPrince of Songkla University, Hat Yai CampusHat YaiThailand

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