Oil-extracted Chlorella vulgaris biomass and glycerol bioconversion to methane via continuous anaerobic co-digestion with chicken litter.


Jose Carlos Meneses-Reyes1, Guadalupe Hernandez-Eugenio1, David H. Huber2,3, Nagamani Balagurusamy4, Teodoro Espinosa-Solares1*

1Universidad Autonoma Chapingo, Posgrado en Ingeniería Agrícola y Uso Integral del Agua, Laboratorio de Bioprocesos, Chapingo 56230, Estado de Mexico, Mexico

2West Virginia State University, Gus R. Douglass Institute, Institute, WV 25112-1000, USA

3West Virginia State University, Department of Biology, Institute, WV 25112-1000, USA

4Universidad Autonoma de Coahuila, Escuela de Ciencias Biologicas, Laboratorio de Biorremediacion, Torreon 27000, Coahuila, Mexico


The objective of this work was to evaluate the performance of mesophilic continuous anaerobic codigestion using oil-extracted microalgae (M) and glycerol (G) in co-digestion with chicken litter (CL). The process included the starting up and stabilization of continuous anaerobic bioreactors using CL as a feedstock and the corresponding adaptation to M-CL and M-G-CL feedstocks. The treatments were selected based on a previous report of our research team on Biochemical Methane Potential (BMP) evaluation, taking in consideration only the best M-G-CL feedstock ratios. The performance was evaluated by the Specific Methanogenic Activity (SMA); the best response (270.0 mL CH4 gVS added-1) was obtained with a triple co-digestion M-G-CL 30:3:67, which was 39.0% above the CL treatment. These findings have shown that the two main residuals from microalgae biodiesel production (G and M) can be used as a feedstock to improve methane production through anaerobic digestion.

algae-glycerol-chi litter-methane