High-value chemicals from Botryococcus braunii and their current applications – A review

Pengfei Cheng, Shigeru Okada, Chengxu Zhou, Paul Chen, Shuhao Huo, Kun Li, Min Addy, Xiaojun Yan, Roger R. Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Botryococcus braunii is known for its high yield of extracellular hydrocarbons and polysaccharides. Hydrocarbons, especially botryococcenes and squalene can be used as not only fuels but also alternative feedstock for other fossil-based products. Exopolysaccharides excreted from B. braunii can be used as scaffolds for polyesters production, and have a notable potential for synthesis of nanoparticles. B. braunii is also a rich source of carotenoids, especially the unique secondary carotenoids such as botryoxanthins that have never been found in other microalgae. The morphology, physiology, and outer cell walls of B. braunii are complex. Understanding the colony structure shall provide insights into the mechanism of cell growth and chemicals secretion. It is possible to improve the production economics of the alga with advanced culture systems. Moreover, investigation of metabolic pathways for B. braunii may help us understand their regulation and provide valuable information for strain selection and optimal production of high-value chemicals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121911
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was sponsored by National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 31560724 ), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation ( 2017T100583 , 2016M00616 ), the International Postdoctoral Exchange Fellowship Program (20180042), the Ningbo Municipal Science and Technology Project (2019C10071), the Ningbo Municipal Natural Science Foundation (431901822), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangxi Province ( 20171BAB214014 ), the Key Laboratory of Poyang Lake Ecological Environment and Resource Development (PK2017001), and the K. C. Wong Magna Fund in Ningbo University .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Botryococcus braunii
  • Carotenoids
  • Exopolysaccharides
  • High-value
  • Hydrocarbon


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