Optimization of Biodiesel Production Conditions Using Chlorella vulgaris Microalgae Cultivated in Different Culture Medium: Statistical Analysis

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Faculty of Material and Chemical Engineering, Esfarayen University of Technology, Esfarayen, North Khorasan, Iran


The effect of cultivation culture on the biodiesel yield produced from in-situ transesterification of Chlorella vulgaris microalgae was assessed. Firstly, the algae were cultivated in Moh202, sterilized wastewater (SW), unsterilized wastewater (USW) mediums. It was found that around ten days were suitable to receive maximized growth of microalgae; while, maximum and minimum growth was detected in Moh202 and SW media. Before assessment, the effect of cultivation medium on the biodiesel content, the transesterification reaction conditions such as catalyst (NaOH) concentration, reaction time and amount of methanol were investigated by algae cultivated in Moh202 medium via fractional factorial design as statistical methodology. In the range of the study, catalyst concentration and reaction time were the most important effective parameters on the biodiesel yield. Moreover, the interaction between reaction time with catalyst concentration and amount of methanol was also important. In short reaction time and its interaction with catalyst concentration had positive effect, while catalyst concentration, amount of methanol and interaction of reaction time and amount of methanol had negative impact on the biodiesel yield. The yields of the algae cultivated in Moh202, sterilized and unsterilized wastewater media at the optimum conditions of 1 wt.% of catalyst, 9 mL methanol/g biomass and reaction time of 4 hours were 95.5%, 83.9% and 75.5%, respectively. Although the difference between biodiesel yields of Chlorella vulgaris Microalgae cultivated in the wastewater medium compared to sterilized wastewater medium was observed, wastewater can be used as a medium for cultivation of algae for biodiesel production to reduce the biodiesel production costs.


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