Iranian researchers have used starch extracted from microalgae in a mixed growth medium to produce biodiesel.

Iranian researchers have used starch extracted from microalgae in a mixed growth medium to produce biodiesel.

The MEHR News Agency reports that two Iranian researchers, Morteza Hassanpour and Mahsa Abbasabadi, are pursuing a project to enrich starch-producing microalgae in a mixed growth medium for manufacturing biodiesel fuel.

The starch stored in microalgae is the basic substance for the fermentation process in producing bioethanol and the lipid stored in it is a precursor for the production of biodiesel. In this project, a new method was employed for the screening of microorganisms based on cell density, called gravity-based enrichment.

In this new method, various species of starch- and lipid-producing microalgae were screened in a mixed-growth medium, and many disadvantages of pure culture of microalgae for producing ethanol and biodiesel – such as the high costs of sterilization and the risk of contamination by the invasive species – have been removed.

The preliminary results revealed that gravity-based enrichment is a good screening method for specialized manufacturing of starch and lipid in microalgae in non-sterile conditions on an industrial scale.

The study has received the second prize for innovation in the 17th edition of Khwarizmi International Award.