Oil crop biomass residue-based media for enhanced algal lipid production

Zhen Wang, Xiaochen Ma, Wenguang Zhou, Min Min, Yanling Cheng, Paul Chen, Jian Shi, Qin Wang, Yuhuan Liu, Roger Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of hydrolysates from acid hydrolysis of four different oil crop biomass residues (OCBR) as low cost culture media for algae growth. The one-factor-at-a-time method was used to design a series of experiments to optimize the acid hydrolysis conditions through examining the total nitrogen, total phosphorus, chemical oxygen demand, and ammonia nitrogen in the hydrolysates. The optimal conditions were found to be using 3 % sulfuric acid and hydrolyzing residues at 90 C for 20 h. The hydrolysates (OCBR media) produced under the optimal conditions were used to cultivate the two algae strains, namely UM258 and UM268. The results from 5 days of cultivation showed that the OCBR media supported faster algae growth with maximal algal biomass yield of 2.7 and 3 g/L, respectively. Moreover, the total lipids for UM258 and UM268 were 54 and 35 %, respectively, after 5 days of cultivation, which suggested that the OCBR media allowed the algae strains to accumulate higher lipids probably due to high C/N ratio. Furthermore, over 3 % of omega-3 fatty acid (EPA) was produced for the two algae strains. In conclusion, OCBR media are excellent alternative for algae growth and have a great potential for large-scale production of algae-based ingredients for biodiesel as well as high-value food and pharmaceutical products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-703
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The study was partially supported by grants from the University of Minnesota Center for Biorefining, the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, and the China 863 Projects (2012AA021704), NSF of China (grant 21177067), the Key Program of Natural Science of the Jiangsu Province of China (grant BK2010034), and China International Cooperation Projects (2010DFB63750).


  • Acid hydrolysis
  • Facultative heterotrophic microalgae
  • Lipid
  • Oil crop biomass residue (OCBR)
  • Omega-3 fatty acid


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