Methane Production from the Co-digestion of Algal Biomass with Crude Glycerol by Anaerobic Mixed Cultures

  • Sureewan Sittijunda
  • Alissara ReungsangEmail author
Original Paper


The optimization of factors affecting methane production from the co-digestion of algal biomass with crude glycerol was investigated using response surface methodology with a central composite design. The investigated parameters included algal biomass, crude glycerol and inoculum concentration. The inoculum and algal biomass concentration had a significant individual effect on the methane production (p ≤ 0.05). The interactive effect on methane production was found to be between algal biomass and crude glycerol (p ≤ 0.05). The optimal conditions were 20.02 g-VS/L of crude glycerol, 9.76 g-VS/L of inoculum concentration and 5.50 g-VS/L of algal biomass. Under optimum conditions, the maximum methane production of 58.88 mL-CH4/L was obtained. The difference between the observed methane production (58.88 mL-CH4/L) and the predicted methane (68.94 mL-CH4/L) was 14.59%. Under the optimum conditions, the energy production of 92.47 J/g-VSadded was obtained. The polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis indicated that the methane producers present in the fermentation broth were Methanosarcina sp., Methanoregula sp., Methanospirillum sp. and Methanoculleus sp.


Microalgae Biodiesel waste Anaerobic digestion Biogas 



This research project is supported by Mahidol University. The authors would like to thank the Research Group for Development of Microbial Hydrogen Production Process from Biomass, Khon Kaen University for the facilities support and partially financial support from TRF Senior Research Scholar (Grant No. RTA5980004). Technical assistant by Napapat Sitthikitpanya is very much appreciated.

Author Contributions

AR and SS conceived and designed the experiments. SS performed the experiment, analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript. This experiment was supervised by AR. All authors read and approved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Environment and Resource StudiesMahidol UniversityNakhon PathomThailand
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of TechnologyKhon Kaen UniversityKhon KaenThailand
  3. 3.Research Group for Development of Microbial Hydrogen Production Process from BiomassKhon Kaen UniversityKhon KaenThailand

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