The utilization of seawater for the hydrolysis of macroalgae and subsequent bioethanol fermentation

Darren Greetham, Jessica M. Adams, Chenyu Du

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A novel seawater-based pretreatment process was developed to improve the hydrolysis yield of brown (Laminaria digitata), green (Ulva linza) and red (Porphyra umbilicalis) macroalgae. Pre-treated with 5% sulphuric acid at 121 °C, 15 minutes, L. digitata, U. linza and P. umbilicalis liberated 64.63 ± 0.30%, 69.19 ± 0.11% and 63.03 ± 0.04% sugar in seawater compared with 52.82 ± 0.16%, 45.93 ± 0.37% and 48.60 ± 0.07% in reverse-osmosis water, respectively. Low hydrolysis yields (2.6-11.7%) were observed in alkali and hydrothermal pretreatment of macroalgae, although seawater led to relatively higher yields. SEM images of hydrolyzed macroalgae showed that reverse-osmosis water caused contortions in the remaining cell walls following acid and hydrothermal pre-treatments in the L. digitata and U. linza samples. Fed-batch fermentations using concentrated green seaweed hydrolysates and seawater with marine yeast Wickerhamomyces anomalus M15 produced 48.24 ± 0.01 g/L ethanol with an overall yield of 0.329 g/g available sugars. Overall, using seawater in hydrolysis of seaweed increased sugar hydrolysis yield and subsequent bioethanol production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9728
Number of pages15
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2020

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