Biorefinery of the brown seaweed Saccharina latissima for fuels and chemicals

A.M. Lopez Contreras, P.F.H. Harmsen, R. Blaauw, G.B.N. Houweling-Tan, H. van der Wal, W.J.J. Huijgen, J.W. van Hal

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademic

Abstract

Seaweeds (also called macroalgae) are considered a potential biomass feedstock for biorefineries for production of energy and chemicals. In this study, a biorefinery strategy for the brown seaweed Saccharina latissima is described. Fresh S. latissima harvested at the Irish coast contained glucose and mannitol as most abundant fermentable sugars. The fresh biomass was chopped and pressed in order to obtain a liquid fraction (press juice), which contained 16 g/L of mannitol as main sugar component, and an insoluble fraction referred to a “press cake”. The mannitol in the press liquid has been extracted and purified to serve as a substrate for chemical conversions. The use of the press juice and hydrolysed press cake as substrates for production of acetone, butanol and ethanol by anaerobic fermentation has been evaluated. While the press juice was easily fermentable after addition of nutrients, the press cake was toxic for the microorganisms. When the press cake hydrolysate was diluted, fermentation was possible. The toxicity of the hydrolysate might be associated to the high salt concentrations determined in it. The use of the residue after enzymatic hydrolysis of the press cake as fertilizer has been evaluated.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventProceedings of the Mie Bioforum on lignocellulose degradation and biorefinery - Nemunosato Resort, Mie Prefecture, Japan
Duration: 18 Nov 201421 Nov 2014

Conference

ConferenceProceedings of the Mie Bioforum on lignocellulose degradation and biorefinery
CountryJapan
CityMie Prefecture
Period18/11/1421/11/14

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Lopez Contreras, A. M., Harmsen, P. F. H., Blaauw, R., Houweling-Tan, G. B. N., van der Wal, H., Huijgen, W. J. J., & van Hal, J. W. (2014). Biorefinery of the brown seaweed Saccharina latissima for fuels and chemicals. Paper presented at Proceedings of the Mie Bioforum on lignocellulose degradation and biorefinery, Mie Prefecture, Japan.