Characterization of microalgal species isolated from fresh water bodies as a potential source for biodiesel production

Reda A.I. Abou-Shanab, Jae Hoon Hwang, Yunchul Cho, Booki Min, Byong Hun Jeon

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147 Scopus citations


Due to increasing oil prices and climate change concerns, biodiesel has gained attention as an alternative energy source. Biodiesel derived from microalgae is a potentially renewable and carbon-neutral alternative to petroleum fuels. One of the most important decisions in obtaining oil from microalgae is the choice of algal species to use. Eight microalgae from a total of 33 isolated cultures were selected based on their morphology and ease of cultivation. Five cultures were isolated from river and identified as strains of Scenedesmus obliquus YSR01, Nitzschia cf. pusilla YSR02, Chlorella ellipsoidea YSR03, S. obliquus YSR04, and S. obliquus YSR05, and three were isolated from wastewater and identified as S. obliquus YSW06, Micractinium pusillum YSW07, and Ourococcus multisporus YSW08, based on LSU rDNA (D1-D2) and ITS sequence analyses. S. obliquus YSR01 reached a growth rate of 1.68±0.28 day-1 at 680nm and a biomass concentration of 1.57±0.67g dwt L-1, with a high lipid content of 58±1.5%. Under similar environmental conditions, M. pusillum reached a growth rate of 2.3±0.55 day-1 and a biomass concentration of 2.28±0.16g dwt L-1, with a relatively low lipid content of 24±0.5% w/w. The fatty acid compositions of the studied species were mainly myristic, palmitic, palmitoleic, oleic, linoleic, g-linolenic, and linolenic acids. Our results suggest that S. obliquus YSR01 can be a possible candidate species for producing oils for biodiesel, based on its high lipid and oleic acid contents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3300-3306
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Energy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the 21st Frontier research project (Sustainable Water Resources Research Center 3-4-3), the Global Research Laboratory project (Korea Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources NP2008-019), the Senior Researchers (National Research Foundation of Korea, 2010-0026904), and the Brain Korea-21 (BK-21) program of the Ministry of Education, Republic of Korea.


  • Biodiesel
  • Fatty acids
  • Fresh water
  • Microalgae
  • RRNA


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