Biotechnological potential of Chlorella sp. and Scenedesmus sp. microalgae to endure high CO2 and methane concentrations from biogas

  • José Roberto Ramos-Ibarra
  • Raúl Snell-Castro
  • Jorge Alejandro Neria-Casillas
  • Francisco J. ChoixEmail author
Research Paper


Biogas, a gaseous effluent from the anaerobic digestion of organic waste, is considered an important source of energy, since it has a composition mainly of methane (CH4; 55–75%) and CO2 (20–60%). Today, CO2 from biogas is an excellent carbon source to induce high microalgal biomass production; however, each microalga strain can have different optimal CO2 concentrations for maximizing their bio-refinery capacity as well as different ability to endure stressful conditions of industrial effluents. This study assessed the bio-refinery capacity of Chlorella sp. and Scenedesmus sp., native of Lago de Chapala, Mexico, from biogas, as well as the effect of high CO2 and methane concentrations on the physiological performance to grow, capture CO2 and biochemical composition of both microalgae cultured under different biogas compositions. The results show that both microalgae have the biotechnological potential to endure biogas compositions of 25% CO2–75% CH4. Under this condition, the biomass production attained by Chlorella sp. and Scenedesmus sp. was 1.77 ± 0.32 and 2.25 ± 0.20 g L−1, respectively, with a biochemical composition mainly of carbohydrates and proteins. Overall, this study demonstrates that both microalgae have the ability to endure the stressful biogas composition without affecting their physiological capacity to capture CO2 and biosynthesize high-value metabolites. Moreover, it is worth highlighting the importance of screening wild-type microalgae from local ecosystems to determine their physiological capacity for each biotechnological application.


Anaerobic digestion Bio-refinery Bio-remediation CO2 fixation Flue gases 



Francisco J. Choix acknowledges CONACYT (National Council for Science and Technology) for the support under the Program-project 2517 Cátedras CONACYT and Diana Fischer for editorial services in English.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Ingeniería QuímicaCUCEI-Universidad de GuadalajaraGuadalajaraMexico
  2. 2.CONACYT, CUCEI-Universidad de GuadalajaraGuadalajaraMexico

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