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01.12.2014 | Original Research | Ausgabe 4/2014 Open Access

International Journal of Energy and Environmental Engineering 4/2014

Potential and properties of marine microalgae Nannochloropsis oculata as biomass fuel feedstock

International Journal of Energy and Environmental Engineering > Ausgabe 4/2014
Sukarni, Sudjito, Nurkholis Hamidi, Uun Yanuhar, I. N. G. Wardana


Microalgal biomass is the most promising and attractive alternative to replace the terrestrial crop utilization for renewable biomass fuel feedstock. The potential for biomass fuel is due to its fast growth rate and high ability for CO2 fixation as compared to terrestrial vegetation. There are many species in the globe, growing both in marine and freshwater. In this work, the marine microalgae Nannochloropsis oculata (N. oculata) had been investigated in terms of potential abundance and physicochemical properties, which determine its feasibility as biomass fuel feedstock. The chemical composition was evaluated by energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry, and the proximate analysis was done by performing experiments in the thermal gravimetric analyzer. During 7 days of cultivation, the average rate of increase in algal biomass was about 1.5 × 106 cells/ml/day. The proximate analysis of N. oculata indicated that it had compositions of low moisture content and fixed carbon, whereas high volatile matter and ash content, i.e., 3.99, 8.08, 67.45, and 24.47 %, respectively. The energy content, which was calculated through the proximate analysis results, was 16.80 MJ/kg. The algal biomass and its residue after 1,200 °C were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to investigate their chemical macromolecular compounds. This present study concludes that N. oculata is feasible as biomass fuel feedstock, either to direct or co-combustion mode by giving special attention to high ash content.
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