Enzymes produced by biomass-degrading bacteria can efficiently hydrolyze algal cell walls and facilitate lipid extraction

Publication date: August 2017Source:Renewable Energy, Volume 109
Author(s): Haipeng Guo, Houming Chen, Lu Fan, Andrew Linklater, Bingsong Zheng, Dean Jiang, Wensheng Qin
The toughness of microalgal cell walls makes lipid extraction and large-scale biodiesel production difficult. This study investigated the enzymatic hydrolysis of algal cell walls, in which the enzymes were produced by eight biomass-degrading bacterial strains. The bacteria were first cultured in mineral salt medium containing 5% (w/v) wheat bran and various lignocellulolytic enzymes, including exoglucanases (CMCase), endoglucanases (FPase), xylanase, and laccase were monitored in order to obtain an enzymatic extract. All the strains showed marked CMCase activity, with a range of 3.0–6.9 U ml−1 after incubation for 2–5 d. Some strains also produced FPase, xylanase, and laccase. The enzymatic extract was directly added to fresh algae culture at a ratio of 1:3 (v/v) for 48 h. All the bacterial enzymatic extracts significantly disrupted algal cell walls, according to the enhancement of reducing sugar content in the culture. The lipid extraction yield was markedly increased by 10.4–43.9%, depending on the bacteria strains used. Due to its high reducing sugar production and lipid extraction efficiency, Bacillus sp. K1 was selected for a time-course experiment. Maximum lipid yield was obtained after 24 h of incubation at the room temperature, with about 40% of the cells were disrupted. These results showed that enzymes produced by biomass-degrading bacteria can weaken and disrupt cell walls and components of algae and facilitate the release of lipids from algae.

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