Waste and Biomass Valorization

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 327–340 | Cite as

A Comparative Biomass Compositional Analysis of Five Algal Species from the Paddy Fields of Burdwan District, West Bengal, India, to Determine Their Suitability for Handmade Paper Pulp Formulation

  • Piyali MukherjeeEmail author
  • Jai Prakash Keshri
Original Paper



The need for research into the use of alternative raw materials for the production of paper results from the anticipated shortages in the supply of raw-materials to the wood-based paper-industry. Although Burdwan town is vested with different types of algae, literally no work has been done for valorization of such biomass. Start of such bioprocess involves optimization of resource-utilization that is the main topic in this paper.


Burdwan town was surveyed for collection of algae that were identified by morphologic characteristics under the microscope. Cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, ash-content, water-retention-value, total carbohydrate and starch concentration of these algae were determined for assessing their feasibility in handmade-paper production. Element content in these algae was determined from energy-dispersive-X-ray-spectroscopy. Breaking-length and tensile-strength were the two parameters tested to assess hand-made-paper quality obtained from pulp extracted from the collected algae species. Data obtained were statistically evaluated with one-way analysis-of-variance followed by Tukey’s HSD (honest-significant-difference) test. Paper made from pure algae pulp was also tested for inter-fiber bonding with scanning-electron-microscopic-imaging. All experiments were repeated with Eucalyptus sp. pulp (wood) as control to assess the suitability of algal pulp as an alternative to the conventional wood pulp.


Five algal species: Pithophora sp., Lyngbya sp., Hydrodiction sp., Cladophora sp. and Rhizoclonium sp. were collected. Although here were no statistically-significant differences (p = 0.8137) in biomass-compositional values from the studied algae species and Eucalyptus sp. pulp, paper quality parameters (Breaking-length and tensile-strength) varied significantly (p < 0.1, p < 0.5) among them. Hydrodiction sp., besides Rhizoclonium sp. and Cladophora sp. were established as the most suitable candidates for paper-pulp formulation in terms of high cellulose, hemicelluloses contents and low lignin and silica contents. Paper from pure Hydrodiction sp. pulp was found to have statistically significant (P < 0.05) improved breaking-length and tensile-strength properties compared to that obtained from Lyngbya sp. Paper-pulp characters varied insignificantly among Hydrodiction sp., Rhizoclonium sp. and Cladophora sp. versus Eucalyptus sp. (wood pulp) whereas statistically significant differences were noticed in paper pulp quality of Pithophora sp. (p < 0.05) and Lyngbya sp. (p < 0.01) with Eucalyptus sp. respectively.


Thus, this paper enlightens (through statistical comparison), the properties of different algae, leading out Hydrodiction sp., Rhizoclonium sp. and Cladophora sp. to be the most appropriate as start up material (resources) for paper-pulp formulation, in comparison to conventional wood pulp (Eucalyptus sp.).


Algae Pulp Biochemical evaluation Water-retention-value (WRV) Handmade-paper One-way-analysis-of-variance (ANOVA) 



The authors acknowledge The Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, India for supporting this research work. The authors also thank the Department of Biotechnology, The University of Burdwan for providing adequate lab facility to carry out this research work.


This research was funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), New Delhi, India through grant of Woman Scientist B postdoctoral fellowship (Grant No.: DST/Disha/SoRF-PM/061/2013) to Dr. Piyali Mukherjee.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors state that there are no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyThe University of BurdwanGolapbagIndia
  2. 2.Department of BotanyThe University of BurdwanGolapbagIndia

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