Project Supported by Higher Education Institutions, 2016 - 2017
Microalgae are increasingly employted for production of various industrial chemicals. Lipids, which are a major microalgae product, are similar to plant based lipids and can be converted to biodiesel. Moreover, growing microalgae has many more advantages compared to plants in terms of lipid production. The objective of this study is to determine effects of chemical and physiological conditions on the growth and lipid content of two different microalgae strains, optimizing those conditions for highest lipid production, optimizing lipid extraction, demonstrating large-scale application of the process. The work was grouped in three work packages and will be completed in one year. The study will be carried by a team of five interdisciplinary team in biotechnology laboratory of the chemical engineering department. Preliminary work has been completed already and the validity of the methods are shown, most of the equipments necessary are already available in our infrastructure: large scale centrifuge, scholarship for a student, and various consumables are demanded in this project. Lipid production from microalgae is a current and popular technology, therefore there is a high potential of publishing the results that will be obtained. The outcomes of the project may also be used to devise further projects on the biodiesel production from alga oil.