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Effect of Media Composition and Culture Time on the Lipid Profile of the Green Microalga Coelastrum sp. and Its Suitability for Biofuel Production


The development of biofuels as an alternative to the use of fossil fuels is growing worldwide due to environmental concerns and energy independence; thus, considerable technical progress has been achieved in biofuel production. Microalgae have been widely used for nutrient removal during wastewater treatment and produce compounds that can be used as feedstock for biofuel synthesis. In this work, the green microalga Coelastrum sp. was cultivated using industrial wastes: molasses as the carbon source and synthetic wastewater as the culture medium to determine the potential of its use for biofuel production. The use of synthetic wastewater (SWW) and molasses improved biomass production when compared with cultures carried out in a standard laboratory culture medium, such as tris-acetate-phosphate (TAP). Growth rates of 0.31 and 1.4 day−1 were attained during exponential growth rate with SWW and molasses and TAP media, respectively. The best results in biomass and lipid content, 2.29 ± 0.05 and 0.71 ± 0.03 g L−1, were obtained after 15 days of culture in SWW with molasses. The analysis of the lipid profile, produced by Coelastrum sp. cultured under these conditions, determined that the microalga can be considered as a high-quality feedstock for producing green diesel, bio-jet fuel, or biodiesel.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the ASA-CONACYT financial support Grant No. 243145 for this project and CONACYT for María Guadalupe del Rayo Serrano-Vázquez scholarship No. 338220.

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Correspondence to Luis Felipe Barahona-Pérez.

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American Society of Testing Materials




Bio-jet fuel


European Standards


Esterification + transesterification


Fatty acid methyl ester


Free fatty acids


Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy


Green diesel


High quality


Hydrogen to oxygen atomic ratio






Hydrotreatment process for obtaining bio-jet fuel and green diesel




Medium quality


National Institute of Standards and Technology


Official Mexican Norm


Potential quality as product or feedstock


Thin layer chromatography




Synthetic wastewater

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Valdez-Ojeda, R.A., del Rayo Serrano-Vázquez, M.G., Toledano-Thompson, T. et al. Effect of Media Composition and Culture Time on the Lipid Profile of the Green Microalga Coelastrum sp. and Its Suitability for Biofuel Production. Bioenerg. Res. 14, 241–253 (2021).

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  • Synthetic wastewater
  • Molasses
  • Triacylglycerides
  • Transesterification
  • Algal metabolites