Acutodesmus obliquus as a benchmark strain for evaluating methane production from microalgae: Influence of different storage and pretreatment methods on biogas yield
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Acutodesmus obliquus (SAG 276-1), a microalga with a resistant cell wall, was chosen as a benchmark strain for testing the effect of storage and pretreatment methods on methane yields during anaerobic digestion. A. obliquus was cultivated in sleevebag photobioreactors (batch cultivation). Biomass was centrifuged to a final total solid concentration of 91gL-1 and subjected to different treatments. The biomass was then subjected to biochemical methane potential tests. Among the different storage methods tested, freezing and freeze-drying resulted in significantly higher CH4 yields, i.e., 350 Nm3t-1 VSharvest (=normalized gas volume in m3 corrected to norm temperature and pressure per unit harvested volatile solids) (+53% CH4) and 291Nm3t-1 VSharvest (+29% CH4) compared to the fresh biomass (229 Nm3t-1 VSharvest). For pretreatments, the combined milling and enzyme approach (300 Nm3t-1 VSharvest, +57% CH4), ultrasonication (292 Nm3t-1 VSharvest, +52% CH4) and milling (289 Nm3t-1 VSharvest, +51% CH4) resulted in significantly higher CH4 conversion compared to the untreated control (191Nm3t-1 VSharvest). We found a significantly strong positive correlation between viable cell counts and CH4 yields, and a correlation with the solubilized chemical oxygen demand. Our study revealed that mechanical pretreatments were effective and resulted in highest CH4 yields. In addition, the effect of different storage methods must not be neglected.
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