Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lipids from Algae - Diatoms

Several fundamental biological aspects of Algal Biofuel Application.

Presentation at International Workshop on Offshore Algae Cultivation for Biofuels and Beyond,

by Qiang Hu, Laboratory for Algae Research and Biotechnology, Arizona State University

"To put algae in a global perspective, the algae consists of less than 1% even less than 0.5% of global biomass, however this tiny biomass generates about 40% of our oxygen and removes about 40% of the total carbon dioxide. The small amount of algae in the oceans are doing a great job.'
Pg 32.

What are the oleaginous algae? Basically, any algae which can produce 20% or higher of tryacylglycerol. This is equivalent to oleaginous plants, which also produce 20% oil. What kind of algae can produce that much lipid? In this figure I show total lipid so if you look at cyanobacteria or blue-green algae they produce zero triacylglycerol because they are missing several genes involved in triacylglycerol biosynthesis or at least one critical gene. Also because cyanobacteria are a prokaryotic system and have no internal membrane system to separate triacylglycerol from the rest of the cell bodies. If you look at the marine algae there are many marine unicellular algae which can produce high amounts of triacylglyceryl—total lipid can go up to 50%. In particular, there are many diatoms, including both freshwater and marine species, which produce high amounts of triacylglycerol, similar to green algae.
Pg 34

From the report of the Wind Sea Algae Workshop held in April 2009 at Lolland, Denmark available at http://wind-sea-algae.org/?page_id=305 .

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