Algae Meets Fungi: Microalgae-Fungi Co-Pelletization for Biofuel Production
Claire Scrimini, Vanessa Scrimini
Burnaby North Secondary
Floor Location : M 038 E

Microalgae-fungi biofuel has significantly less CO2 emissions than fossil fuels, making it much more environmentally friendly. As well, unlike traditional biodiesel, microalgae-fungi does not require large masses of agricultural land for production. Thus, microalgae-fungi is an optimum option for biofuel production. This is a cost-effective renewable energy source that can be used in place of regular gas in cars and other means of transportation that require it. In addition, it can be used for backup generators and medical equipment in third world countries as it can even be produced in homes. By determining the most effective fungi for biofuel production, the impending environmental damage from pollution can be diminished while posing no threat to the lifestyle people are so keen to keep.

This novel experiment determines which fungi: Aspergillus niger, Rhizopus stolonifer or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as a bioflocculant in the microalgae-fungi co-pelletization process is the most effective for biofuel production.

We hypothesize that when paired with Chlorella vulgaris, Aspergillus niger for will be the most effective bioflocculant in the microalgae-fungi co-pelletization process for biofuel production. A. niger has a high lipid content which could enhance the overall production of biofuel. Furthermore, its negative charge will aid with attracting and neutralizing the C. vulgaris colloidal particles resulting in an easier and more efficient removal of microalgae particles.

Through the process of bioflocculation and esterification, the most effective fungi paired with C. vulgaris was determined. Through the 72 hour bioflocculation period, the formation of mycelial pellets were noted. Furthermore, their cells were analyzed and counted, turbidity was also tested. Subsequently, the fatty acids of the microalgae-fungi were analyzed using a gas-liquid chromatography machine and a mass-spectrometer.

This experiment was carried out thoroughly and precisely resulting in a cost-effective solution for the world's current pollution crisis.