ISOLATION AND CHARACTERISATION OF MICROALGAE FROM UNIVERSITY OF MAURITIUS FARM FOR BIOETHANOL PRODUCTIONRITESH BHAGEA AND DANESHWAR PUCHOOA
Fossil fuels are depleting rapidly and are also the major sources of greenhouse gases, such as CO2 and CH4, which are causing global warming. A more promising alternative is the generation of biofuels from microalgae. This study was carried out to research on the potential of locally available microalgae for bioethanol production. Water samples were taken from the farm of the University of Mauritius and were analysed and spread on Bolds Basal Medium agar. After 10 days of incubation, pure cultures were established and the growth of the isolated microalgae was optimised and scaled up in 5L plastic containers containing the Bolds Basal Medium broth. The oven-dried harvested microalgae yielded a mean biomass of 0.2963g DW/L and total carbohydrate of 15.33 %( }6.11) DW/L after acid hydrolysis. A mean biomass of 0.1363g DM/L and the total carbohydrate 21.36 %( }12.28) DM/L was obtained when the isolated microalgae were cultured in a nitrogen deficient medium. A significant difference was observed only in the biomass yield. The presence of bioethanol was confirmed with qualitative tests after fermentation. Molecular analysis confirmed that the isolated pure cultured microalgae belonged to the Chrysophyceae class.
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