Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 29  June 2017 p.  291-299
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21894/jopr.2017.2902.13

CULTIVATION OF MICROALGAE IN MEDIUM CONTAINING PALM OIL MILL EFFLUENT AND ITS CONVERSION INTO BIOFUEL

Author(s): NUR AZREENA IDRIS*; SOH KHEANG LOH*; HARRISON LIK NANG LAU *; EMINOUR MUZALINA MUSTAFAǂ; VEJEYSRI VELLO**; CHENG YAU TAN ** and SIEW MOI PHANG**

The production of renewable energy has become an important element in worldwide energy policy aimed to reduce greenhouse gases caused by fossil fuels. Biodiesel derived from transesterification of vegetable oil or animal fats, with alcohol in the presence of catalyst has been considered as one of the alternative resources to replace fossil fuels. However, the biodiesel produced from these materials may not be enough for total replacement; hence microalgae are used as another potential alternative due to their high photosynthetic efficiency and biomass productivity. In this study, a microalgae species i.e. Chlorella vulgaris UMACC 001 having high oil to biomass ratio was cultured, harvested and characterised. It showed very high growth rate, μ (0.29 per day) and biomass productivity (0.14 mg litre per day). In addition, the resulting algal oil showed almost equal amount of saturated fatty acid (48.9%) and unsaturated fatty acid (51.1%). When converted to biodiesel, the ester content was 68.9% and comparable with that produced in previous study (71.0%). Thus, Chlorella vulgaris can be considered as a potential feedstock for biofuel production in the future.

Keywords: , , , ,

Author Information
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board, 6 Persiaran Institusi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia. E-mail: lohsk@mpob.gov.my

** Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences, Universiti Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

ǂ Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, T145, 21300 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia.


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