CHARACTERIZATION OF RESIDUAL Nanochloropsis oculata MICROALGAE AND ITS POTENTIAL FOR BIOFUEL PRODUCTION
Biofuel production from microalgae has been explored nowadays to substitute declining fossil fuel. Conversion of microalgae (e.g., Nanochloropsis oculata) to biofuel usually used fresh biomass and not the residual ones. In this study, the characterization of residual N. oculata microalgae and its potential for biofuel production was investigated. Results of proximate and ultimate analyses and high heating value were compared to its original values gathered and recorded during the characterization of fresh N. oculata samples. Particles of its residual being characterized exhibited high uniformity. Result of characterization showed that volatile matter of N. oculata drastically reduced from 81.27% (fresh sample) to 62.00% (residual sample), implying a possible drop of extractable bio-oil within N. oculata. Its ash content increased from 13.57% to 36% following a decline of fixed carbon from 5.17% to 2.00%, suggesting quality deterioration of residual N. oculata. Additionally, the increase of ash content considerably reduced the elemental compositions: carbon (48.31% to 33.44%), hydrogen (7.66% to 4.52%), oxygen (24.85% to 21.62), nitrogen (4.80% to 3.55%). The high heating value has lowered from 17.4 MJ/kg to 14.94 MJ/kg. These apparent declined of N. oculata characteristics for biofuel production, however, are still within the range of values of most algal species (macro, micro, green, blue-green, brown, red, diatom, marine, and freshwater) suggesting comparability and acceptability in microalgal-based biofuel industry in general.
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