Characterization of algae oil (oilgae) and its potential as biofuel in Kenya
Kenya, Eucharia U.
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A survey of microalgae biodiversity in three Kenyan Rift valley lakes identified high oil yielding species abundantly distributed naturally. The species were cultured in BBM and BG-11 media to obtain pure clones and lipids (oil) extracted by the Bligh and Dyer method. The peak lipid content ranged from 1.5 – 10.5% of algal biomass with Chlorella species showing the highest yields (10.5%), followed by Euglena acus (5.88), Nitzschia (3.68%), Ankistrodesmus falcatus (1.58%) and Scenedesmus acuminatus (1.56 %). The algae oil extracted from Chlorella spp contained significantly higher polyunsaturated long chain fatty acids with docosatetraenoate (C22:4) and octadecatetraenoate (C18:4) to be the major components. On the other hand, algae oil from Euglena spp exhibited higher mono-unsaturated long chain fatty acids with erucate (C22:1) and eicosenoate (18:1) being the major components. This implies that algae oil from Euglena spp has a much higher degree of oxidative stability compared to Chlorella spp and has can be cultivated for biofuel.