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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 498446
Title Lipid Yield and Composition of Azolla filiculoides and the Implications for Biodiesel Production
Author(s) Brouwer, Paul; Werf, Adrie van der; Schluepmann, Henriette; Reichart, Gert Jan; Nierop, Klaas G.J.
Source Bio Energy Research 9 (2016)1. - ISSN 1939-1234 - p. 369 - 377.
Department(s) PPO/PRI AGRO Water- en Biobased Economy
PPO/PRI AGRO Toegepaste Plantenecologie
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) Azolla - Biochemicals - Biodiesel - Feedstock - Fern - Lipids

The aquatic fern Azolla is one of the fastest-growing nitrogen-fixing plants on Earth and therefore considered as a potential source of biomass for bioenergy production. The lipid fraction from Azolla filiculoides was analyzed to investigate whether it suited biodiesel production. Since the productivity of Azolla is further increased at higher CO2 concentrations, A. filiculoides biomass was produced at 800 ppm CO2 mimicking a cultivation system utilizing CO2 waste from industry. The harvested biomass contained 7.92 ± 0.14 % dry weight (dw) crude lipids. Drying conditions did not significantly affect lipid composition or yields, indicating that drying conditions may be energetically optimized without the risk of product loss. Total lipid extracts contained 4.2 ± 0.38 % free fatty acids. Of the crude lipid fraction, 41 ± 13 % consisted of fatty acids that were converted into fatty acid methyl esters upon saponification in methanol. Unique mid-chain (di)hydroxy compounds constituted 7.2 ± 2.8 % of the crude lipids. Based on the fatty acid profile, it was estimated that Azolla biodiesel meets requirements set by the EN14214 standard on fuel density, cetane number, and iodine value. The cold filter plugging point (CFPP), however, is expected to be too high due to relatively high concentrations of lignoceric acid and the presence of the mid-chain (di)hydroxy compounds. To produce high-quality biodiesel from Azolla lipids, therefore, a fractionation step will be required removing these compounds. As an advantage, the long-chain alcohols and (di)hydroxy fatty acids obtained after fractionation may provide a valuable secondary product stream with applications to chemical industry and nutrition.

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