Bio-harvesting and pyrolysis of the microalgae Botryococcus braunii

Khalid A. Al-Hothaly, Eric M. Adetutu, Mohamed Taha, Daniele Fabbri, Chiara Lorenzetti, Roberto Conti, Brian H. May, Sahar S. Shar, Reda A. Bayoumi, Andrew S. Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)


The microalgae Botryococcus braunii is widely recognized as a potentially important biofuel-feedstock whose commercial exploitation is limited by difficulties with its cultivation and harvesting. In this study, two B. braunii strains, Kossou-4 and Overjuyo-3 were successfully cultured at a 500. l-scale for 60-days. Harvesting by bio-flocculation with Aspergillus fumigatus at an optimum ratio of 1:40 of fungus to microalgal culture resulted in up to 98% recovery of biomass in the two strains. Ultimate analysis (C, N, H, S, ash, high heating value) and pyrolysis (analytical and preparative pyrolysis and GC-MS assays) showed that co-harvesting with fungi did not cause any impairment of the feedstock value of the microalgal biomass. This work represents the first report on the successful culturing and harvesting of these strains at a 500. l-scale using bio-flocculation. The use of A. fumigatus represents an efficient and economical method for the harvest of B. braunii for biofuel production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-123
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015


  • Aspergillus fumigatus
  • Bioflocculation
  • Botryococcus braunii
  • Harvesting
  • Pyrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal

Cite this

Al-Hothaly, K. A., Adetutu, E. M., Taha, M., Fabbri, D., Lorenzetti, C., Conti, R., ... Ball, A. S. (2015). Bio-harvesting and pyrolysis of the microalgae Botryococcus braunii. Bioresource Technology, 191, 117-123.