Identification of naturally isolated Southern Louisiana's algal strains and the effect of higher CO2 content on fatty acid profiles for biodiesel production


Correspondence to: Corresponding to: Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, St. Gabriel, LA, 70776, USA. E-mail:


BACKGROUND: Microalgae, with both high biomass productivity and oil content, are regarded as attractive candidates for the production of alternative biodiesel as well as for CO2 biofixation. In the present study, four microalgal strains native to southeastern Louisiana's waters were isolated and identified to evaluate their potential for the production of biodiesel. Selected strains were identified through genomic DNA in sequencing of either 16S rRNA or 18S rRNA genes followed by lipid and fatty acid content characterization and quantification.

RESULTS: High correlation was found with known nucleotide sequence identities at 98% with Sellaphora pupula, and 99% with Synechococcus sp., Chlorella sorokiniana, Scenedesmus abundans, and Chlorella vulgaris (control). The fatty acid profiles of these organisms changed when using 5% CO2 aeration. Total fatty acids (TFA) decreased from 20.63 to 17.62, 54.83 to 24.4, and 29.82 to 23.99 g kg−1 in Synechococcus sp., Sellaphora pupula and Chlorella sorokiniana, respectively. TFA increased from 14.14 to 31.49 and 15.14 to 47.52 g kg−1 dry biomass in Scenedesmus abundans and Chlorella vulgaris (control), respectively.

CONCLUSION: Chlorella sorokiniana, with a lower C18:3 and the highest biomass yield at 5% CO2 aeration, was found to be the best candidate for biodiesel production. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry