Extractable liquid, its energy and hydrocarbon content in the green alga Botryococcus braunii.

Yan Li, Robert Moore, Jianguang Qin, A Scott, Andrew Ball

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Due to sparse sampling across races, studies on various strains of Botryococcus braunii have effectively been indiscriminate, and so the target strains for energy production have not come clearly into focus. This study compares extractable liquid biofuel content, bioenergy content and hydrocarbon content across 16 strains B. braunii (A, B and L races) by direct combustion of algal biomass using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), pressure differential scanning calorimetry (PDSC) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). All B. braunii strains were cultured in the same environmental conditions in 250ml flasks, and were harvested for analysis when algae reached the exponential growth phase. Significant differences were detected within and between races A, B and L. The ranges of variation in extractable liquid, biofuel energy and hydrocarbon contents in algal dry biomass were 10-40%, 10-60% and 4-25%, respectively. The race B strains (Ayame 1, Kossou 4, Overjuyo 3 and Paquemar) had more than 21% of dry weight comprising C31-C36 hydrocarbons, which are suitable for biofuel and bioenergy production. The Overjuyo 7 and CCAP 807/2 strains in race A and the Madras 3 and Yamoussoukro 4 strains in race L also showed high biofuel production with extractable liquid biofuel accounting for >30% of dry weight. This study identified particular B. braunii strains that are suitable for biofuel production. The application of TGA and PDSC provides a useful analytical approach for assessing the biodiesel production potential of microalgae.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-112
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - May 2013


    • Algae
    • Biofuel energy
    • Botryococcus braunii
    • Extractable liquid
    • Hydrocarbon production


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