Improved production of lipid contents by cultivating Chlorella pyrenoidosa in heterogeneous organic substrates

  • Hesam KamyabEmail author
  • Shreeshivadasan Chelliapan
  • Chew Tin Lee
  • Tayebeh Khademi
  • Ashok Kumar
  • Krishna Kumar Yadav
  • Shahabaldin Rezania
  • Sandeep Kumar
  • Shirin Shafiei Ebrahimi
Original Paper


The study is aimed to enhance the productivity of microalgal culture by varying the organic and inorganic components during wastewater treatment. A model organism Chlorella pyrenoidosa (C. pyrenoidosa) was grown in four different sources of wastewater namely piggery, palm oil mill effluent (POME), mixed-kitchen, and domestic wastes. The growth efficacy of C. pyrenoidosa on POME was tested for their ability to remove nutrients. It was observed that POME showed the highest chemical oxygen demand of 700 mg L−1. Meanwhile, the piggery waste had the highest amount of total nitrogen of 590 mg L−1. C. pyrenoidosa species were reported to grow well with different nutrient sources and produce high levels of lipids. The highest content of chlorophyll a was obtained with POME (3 mg L−1) and domestic wastes (2.5 mg L−1). The optimum growth rate of C. pyrenoidosa was reported for POME as a substrate. Also, the results indicated the lipid content for POME (182 mg L−1), domestic sample (148 mg L−1), piggery (0.99 mg L−1), and mixed-kitchen wastes (117 mg L−1). The results above revealed that among the tested substrates, POME could be the best alternative for C. pyrenoidosa to improve the yield of lipids and ultimately, biofuels production. Therefore, the treatment of POME in wastewater using C. pyrenoidosa can boost clean technology and energy generation. In future studies, the screening of other waste effluents is needed to cultivate the microalgae and enhance biomass production to meet increasing energy demands and waste treatment applications.


Chlorella pyrenoidosa Lipid content Organic substrate Wastewater 



The authors would like to thank anonymous referees and editors for their constructive comments on the initial draft of the article. Also, the authors are grateful to IPASA, RAZAK School, and MJIT at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) for providing adequate facilities to conduct this research; as well as Algaetech Sdn. Bhd. for their generous support. The first author is a researcher of UTM under the Post-Doctoral Fellowship Scheme (PDRU Grant) for the project: “Enhancing the lipid growth in algae cultivation for biodiesel production with Vote Number: Q. J130000.21A2.03E95 and Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) with Vote Number: R. K130000.7856.5F049”. The authors would also like to acknowledge the supports from Dr.Amirreza Talaeikhozani, Mr.Rahim Kamyab and Mr.Parsa Kamyab in the research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hesam Kamyab
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shreeshivadasan Chelliapan
    • 1
  • Chew Tin Lee
    • 3
    • 4
  • Tayebeh Khademi
    • 5
  • Ashok Kumar
    • 6
  • Krishna Kumar Yadav
    • 7
  • Shahabaldin Rezania
    • 8
  • Sandeep Kumar
    • 9
  • Shirin Shafiei Ebrahimi
    • 10
  1. 1.Engineering Department, Razak Faculty of Technology and InformaticsUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Industrial EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.School of Chemical and Energy EngineeringUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaSkudaiMalaysia
  4. 4.Innovation Centre in Agritechnology for Advanced Bioprocessing (ICA) PagohUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaPagohMalaysia
  5. 5.Azman Hashim International Business SchoolUniversiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)SkudaiMalaysia
  6. 6.Department of Biotechnology and BioinformaticsJaypee University of Information TechnologyWaknaghat, SolanIndia
  7. 7.Institute of Environment and Development StudiesBundelkhand UniversityJhansiIndia
  8. 8.Department of Environment and EnergySejong University, Seoul 05006SeoulRepublic of Korea
  9. 9.Centre for Environment Science and Climate Resilient AgricultureIndian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  10. 10.School of EducationUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaJohor BahruMalaysia

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