Biodiesel production from algae grown on food industry wastewater

  • Khadija Mureed
  • Shamsa Kanwal
  • Azhar Hussain
  • Shamaila Noureen
  • Sabir Hussain
  • Shakeel Ahmad
  • Maqshoof Ahmad
  • Rashid Waqas


Algae have an ample potential to produce biodiesel from spent wash of food industry. In addition, it is cheaper and presents an environment friendly way to handle food industry wastewater. This study was conducted to optimize the growth of microalgal strains and to assess biodiesel production potential of algae using untreated food industry wastewater as a source of nutrients. The food industry wastewater was collected and analyzed for its physicochemical characteristics. Different dilutions (10, 20, 40, 80, and 100%) of this wastewater were made with distilled water, and growth of two microalgal strains (Cladophora sp. and Spyrogyra sp.) was recorded. Each type of wastewater was inoculated with microalgae, and biomass was harvested after 7 days. The growth of both strains was also evaluated at varying temperatures, pH and light periods to optimize the algal growth for enhanced biodiesel production. After optimization, biodiesel production by Spyrogyra sp. was recorded in real food industry wastewater. The algal biomass increased with increasing level of food industry wastewater and was at maximum with 100% wastewater. Moreover, statistically similar results were found with algal growth on 100% wastewater and also on Bristol’s media. The Cladophora sp. produced higher biomass than Spyrogyra sp. while growing on food industry wastewater. The optimal growth of both microalgal strains was observed at temperature 30 °C, pH: 8, light 24 h. Cladophora sp. was further evaluated for biodiesel production while growing on 100% wastewater and found that this strain produced high level of oil and biodiesel. Algae have an ample potential to produce biodiesel from spent wash of food industry. In addition, it is cheaper and presents an environment friendly way to handle food industry wastewater.


Algae Wastewater Biodiesel Biomass Cladophora sp. Spyrogyra sp. 



The Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan, provided funds and space for the experimentation of this study.


  1. Ahluwalia, S. S., & Goyal, D. (2007). Microbial and plant derived biomass for removal of heavy metals from wastewater. Bioresource Technology, 98, 2243–2257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amin, S. (2009). Review on biofuel oil and gas production processes from microalgae. Energy Conversion and Management, 50, 1834–1840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. APHA. (1998). Standard methods for examination of water and water waste. In American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association (20th ed.). Washington (DC): Water Environmental Federation.Google Scholar
  4. Bajhaiya, A. K., Mandotra, S. K., Suseela, M. R., Toppo, K., & Ranade, S. (2010). Algal Biodiesel: the next generation biofuel for India. Asian Experimental and Biological Sciences, 1, 728–739.Google Scholar
  5. Balat, M., & Balat, H. (2010). Progress in biodiesel processing. Applied Energy, 87, 1815–1835.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bansal, B. K., & Sharma, M. P. (2005). Prospects of biodiesel production from vegetable oils in India. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 9, 363–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barbosa, M., Jansen, M., Ham, N., Tramper, J., & Wijffels, R. H. (2001). Microalgae Cultivation in air-lift reactors. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 82(2), 170–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Barsanti, L., & Gualtieri, P. (2006). Algal culturing. Algae: anatomy, biochemistry and biotechnology (pp. 209–250). Boca Ranton: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bibi, R., Ahmad, Z., Imran, M., Hussain, S., Ditta, A., Mahmood, S., & Khalid, A. (2017). Algal bioethanol production technology: a trend towards sustainable development. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 71, 976–985.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Borugadda, V. B., & Goud, V. V. (2012). Biodiesel production from renewable feedstock: status and opportunities. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16, 4763–4784.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chen, L., Tianzhong, L., Wei, Z., Xiaolin, C., & Junfeng, W. (2012). Biodiesel production from algae oil high in free fatty acids by two step catalytic conversion. Bioresource Technology, 11, 208–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chong, A.M.Y., Wong Y.S., & Tam, N.F.Y. (2000). Performance of different microalgal species in removing nickel and zinc from industrial wastewater. Conference on Environmental contamination, toxicology and health, Hong Kong, peoples R China.Google Scholar
  13. Clarens, A. F., Resurreccion, E. P., White, M. A., & Colosi, L. M. (2010). Environmental Life Cycle Comparison of Algae to Other Bioenergy Feedstocks. Environmental Science and Technology, 44, 1813–1819.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Demirbas, M. F. (2011). Biofuels from algae for sustainable development. Applied Energy, 88, 3473–3480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dubinsky, Z., Matsukawa, R., & Karube, I. (1995). Photobiological aspects of algal mass Culture. Marine Biotechnology, 2, 61–65.Google Scholar
  16. Dring, M., Brinza, J. L., & Gavrilescu, M. (2007). Marine micro and macro algal species as biosorbants for heavy metals. Environment Engineering and Management, 6, 237–251.Google Scholar
  17. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. (2009). The market and food security implications of the development of biofuel production. FAO committee on commodity problems, sixty-seventh sessions, Rome, April 20– 22.Google Scholar
  18. Gui, M. M., Lee, K. T., & Bhatia, S. (2008). Feasibility of edible oil vs. non-edible oil vs. waste edible oil as biodiesel feedstock. Energy, 33, 1646–1653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gulab, C. S., Richa, G., Mahavir, Y., & Archana, T. (2012). Analysis for the higher production of biodiesel from Scenedesmus dimorphus. Open Access Scientific Reports, 1, 320. Scholar
  20. Hossain, A. B. M. S., Salleh, A., Boyce, A. N., Chowdhury, P., & Naqiuddin, M. (2008). Biodiesel Fuel Production from Algae as Renewable Energy. American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 4(3), 250–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hu, Q. (2004). Environmental effects on cell composition. In A. Richmond (Ed.), Handbook of microalgal culture (p. 84). 2121 State Avenue, Ames, Iowa, USA: Blackwell Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  22. Hu, Q., Sommerfeld, M., Jarvis, E., Ghirardi, M., Posewitz, M., Seibert, M., & Darzins, A. (2008). Microalgal triacylglycerols as feedstocks for biofuel production: perspectives and advances. The Plant Journal, 54, 621–639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Huo, S., Wang, Z., Zhu, S., Zhou, W., Dong, R., & Yuan, Z. (2012). Cultivation of Chlorella zofingiensis in bench scale outdoor ponds by regulation of pH using dairy wastewater in winter, South China. Bioresource Technology, 121, 76–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. IEA. (2011). Key world energy statistics. Paris: International Energy Agency.Google Scholar
  25. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2007). IPCC summary for policy makers. In Climate change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  26. Joseph, V., & Joseph, A. (2001). Algae in the assessment of industrial wastewater holding ponds: a case study of an oil refinery. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 132, 251–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kebede-Westhead, E., Pizarro, C., & Mulbury, W. W. (2006). Treatment of swine manure effluent using fresh water algae: production, nutrient recovery and elemental composition of algal biomass at four effluent loading rates. Journal of Applied Phycology, 18, 41–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kothari, R., Prasad, R., Kumar, V., & Singh, D. P. (2013). Production of biodiesel from microalgae Chlamydomonas polypyrenoideum grown on dairy industry wastewater. Bioresource Technology, 144, 499–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kulkarni, M. G., & Dalai, A. K. (2006). Waste cooking oil-an economical source for biodiesel: a review. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 45, 2901–2913.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lee, K., & Lee, C. (2001). Effect of light/dark cycles on wastewater treatments by microalgae. Biotechnology Bioprocess Engineering, 6(3), 194–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Melting, F. B. (1996). Biodiversity and application of microalgae. Industrial Microbiology, 17, 477–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Metzger, P., & Largeau, C. (2005). Botrycoccus braunii: a rich source of hydrocarbons and related ether lipids. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 66, 486–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mitchell, D. (2008). A note on rising food prices. World bank policy research working paper no.4682, world bank – development economics group (DEC), Washington (DC), August 27; 2008.Google Scholar
  34. Mulbry, W., Kondard, S., & Buyer, J. (2008). Treatment of dairy and swine manure effluents using freshwater algae: Fatty acid content and composition of algal biomass at different manure loading rates. Applied Phycology, 20, 1079–1085.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ozkurt, I. (2009). Qualifying of safflower and algae for energy. Energy Education Science and Technology Part A-Energy Science and Research, 23, 145–151.Google Scholar
  36. Pimental, D., & Patzek, T. W. (2005). Ethanol production using corn, switchgrass and wood; biodiesel production using soybean and sunflower. Natural Resources Research, 14, 65–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pizarro, C., Mulbury, W. W., & Kebede-Westhead, E. (2006). An economical assessment of algal turf scrubbertechnology for treatment of dairy manure effluent. Ecological Engineering, 26, 321–327.Google Scholar
  38. Khola, G., & Ghazala, B. (2012). Biodiesel production from algae. Pakistan Journal of Botany, 44, 379–381.Google Scholar
  39. Ribeiro, L.A. & da Saliva, P.P. (2012). Techno-economic assessment on innovative biofuel technologies. The case of microalgae. International Scholarly Research Network (ISRN) Renew. Energy Volume, Article ID 173753, 8.
  40. Ruiz-Marin, A., Espinosa, L. G. M., & Stephenson, T. (2010). Growth and nutrient removal in free and immobilized green algae in batch and semi-continuous cultures treating real wastewater. Bioresource Technology, 101, 58–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sheedlo, M. (2008). A review of the processes of biodiesel production. MMG 445. Basic Biotechnology eJournal, 4, 61–65.Google Scholar
  42. Shrum, L. J., McCarty, J. A., & Lowrey, T. M. (1995). Buyer characteristics of the green consumer and their implications for advertising strategy. Journal of Advertising, 24, 71–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Steel, R. G. D., Torrie, J. H., & Dicky, D. A. (1997). Principles and procedures of statistics: a biometrical approach (3rd ed.pp. 204–227). Singapore: McGraw-Hill, Book International Co..Google Scholar
  44. Su, Y., Mennerich, A., & Urban, B. (2011). Municipal wastewater treatment and biomass accumulation with a wastewater-born and settleable algal bacterial culture. Water Research, 45, 3351–3358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Valderrama, L. T., Del Campo, C. M., & Rodriguez, C. M. (2002). Treatment of recalcitrant wastewaterfrom ethanol and citric acid production using the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris and the macrophyte Lemnaminusscula. Water Resources, 36, 4185–4192.Google Scholar
  46. Waqas, R., Arshad, M., Asghar, H. N., & Asghar, M. (2015). Optimization of factors for enhanced phycoremediation of reactive blue azo dye. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology, 17, 803–808.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Williams, P. J. L., & Laurens, M. L. (2010). Microalgae as biodiesel & biomass feedstock’s: review & analysis of the biochemistry, energetics & economics. Energy & Environmental Science, 3, 554–590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wu, L. F., Chen, P. C., Huang, A. P., & Lee, C. M. (2012). The feasibility of biodiesel production by microalgae using industrial wastewater. Bioresource Technology, 113, 14–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zhang, E. D., Wang, B., Wang, Q. H., Zhang, S. B., & Zhao, B. D. (2008). Ammonia-nitrogen and orthophosphate removal by immobilized Scenedesmus sp.isolated from municipal wastewater for potential use in tertiary treatment. Bioresource Technology, 99, 3787–3793.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Zhu, L., Wang, Z., Shu, Q., Takala, J., Hiltunen, E., Feng, P., & Yuan, Z. (2013). Nutrient removal and biodiesel production by integration of freshwater algae cultivation with piggery wastewater treatment. Water Research, 47(13), 4294–4302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Khadija Mureed
    • 1
  • Shamsa Kanwal
    • 1
  • Azhar Hussain
    • 2
  • Shamaila Noureen
    • 3
  • Sabir Hussain
    • 3
  • Shakeel Ahmad
    • 4
  • Maqshoof Ahmad
    • 2
  • Rashid Waqas
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Soil and Environmental SciencesUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Soil Science, University College of Agriculture and Environmental SciencesThe Islamia University of BahawalpurBahawalpurPakistan
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Sciences & EngineeringGovernment College UniversityFaisalabadPakistan
  4. 4.Department of Soil and Environmental SciencesMuhammad Nawaz Sharif University of AgricultureMultanPakistan
  5. 5.University of Agriculture Faisalabad (Sub-campus Burewala)FaisalabadPakistan

Personalised recommendations