Quantitative study on lipid productivity of Euglena gracilis and its biodiesel production according to the cultivation conditions

Jong Min Jung, Jee Young Kim, Sungyup Jung, Yoon E. Choi, Eilhann E. Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Biodiesel is a carbon neutral liquid fuel that is derived from transesterification of lipids in biomass. Microalgae could be a promising raw feedstock for biodiesel production thanks to high lipid content in line with the rapid carbon fixation capability. Nonetheless, lipid productivity from microalgae is sensitive to microalgal species and cultivation conditions. Hence, to seek cultivation parameters maximizing lipid productivity, Euglena gracilis (E. gracilis) was kept under the controlled conditions as a case study. Non-catalytic transesterification was also adopted for quantitative/qualitative analyses of lipid in E. gracilis due to its analytical reliability. E. gracilis was cultured in the aerobic condition for 7 d, and the cultivation mode was changed into the anaerobic condition for 3 d to experimentally confirm wax ester fermentation mechanisms. The lipid content in E. gracilis reached up to 24.81 wt% (dry basis) under the heterotrophic condition, which was in good agreement with the wax fermentation mechanism. It was concluded that the high dose of nutrients (glucose, nitrogen, and phosphorus) under the oxygen-free environment led to a favorable condition for lipid accumulation. Nevertheless, this study offered that lipid productivity in 6 d (0.131 g lipid L−1 d−1) under aerobic condition was higher than that in 10 d (0.092 g lipid L−1 d−1) under anaerobic condition due to substantial carbon loss arising from the wax ester fermentation stage under the anaerobic condition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125218
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NRF ( National Research Foundation of Korea ) Grant funded by the Korean Government ( NRF-2019R1A2C2087449 ). This work was also supported by the Korea Basic Science Institute ( KBSI ) (Project No. C070300 ). This work was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea ( NRF ) grants funded by the Korean government ( MSIT ) ( NRF-2020R1A2C1010748 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Biodiesel
  • Biorefinery
  • Euglena
  • Microalgae cultivation
  • Non-catalytic transesterification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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