INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES EN BIODIVERSIDAD Y BIOTECNOLOGIA
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Sucrose-to-ethanol microalgae-based platform using seawater
SANZ SMACHETTI, MARIA EUGENIA; CURATTI, LEONARDO; CORONEL, CAMILA DENISE; SALERNO, GRACIELA L.
Año: 2020 vol. 45
Microalgal biomass is increasingly considered a promising feedstock for the production of bioethanol because it has simpler biochemical composition and structural features than plant feedstocks. However, it still requires hazardous and/or expensive acid or enzymatic saccharification processes before its conversion into ethanol by fermentation. To bypass this limitation, we identified microalgal strains that accumulate up to 10% (w/w) of sucrose, a readily fermentable sugar. Conditions were optimized to produce sucrose in half-strength seawater, as well as efficient extraction by very mild procedures, and conversion into ethanol. We present a model based on cultivation in environmental photobioreactors that predicted a productivity of 4200 L ethanol·ha−1·year−1 in raceway ponds in Brazil, approaching the average sucrose and ethanol productivity from sugarcane