KAS is pleased to announce that KAS staff members have authored two recent publications appearing in flagship journals for the biotechnology industry.

Algae-Mediated Valorization of Industrial Waste Streams
Perez M, Nolasco NA, Vasavada A, Johnson M, Kuehnle A.
Industrial Biotechnology 2015; 11(4): 229-34.

This paper describes growth of microalgae on hydrolyzed lignocellulosic feedstock obtained from the pulp and paper industry. Focusing on Hawaiian Chlorella and Scenedesmus species, growth varied with each type of wood hydrolysate, depending on the pentose and hexose sugar composition as well as process residuals such as organic acids and alcohols. Both species were able to utilize pentose sugars. A 1.6-fold higher biomass productivity was obtained on a medium with Bleached Southern Pine hydrolysate than that with the equivalent C5 and C6 model sugars alone, suggesting enhanced growth stimulation on wood hydrolysates compared to purified sugar streams. Microalgae were also used to treat oil refinery wastewater. An algae-wastewater pilot facility at an oil refinery was designed and constructed to mimic deep treatment ponds for polishing of wastewater through augmentation with microalgae. Operations showed 97% reduction in ammonia N, 69% reduction in Total N, 90% reduction in Total P, and 100% reduction in total suspended solids.

Some Microalgae from the Hawaiian Islands with a Focus on Industrial Applications
Kuehnle A, Schurr R, Perez M
Current Biotechnology 2015; 4(4): DOI: 10.2174/2211550104666151006001736.

This paper surveys a diversity of Hawaiian microalgae for potential industrial applications. It describes in depth over a dozen new isolates. Several had favorable profiles for potential use in a fuel and feed biorefinery, for wastewater treatment with CO2 capture, or for more specialized products with options for cultivation as phototrophs or facultative heterotrophs in freshwater or saltwater. Whole biomass showed a useful combination of total protein and lipids, good in vitro digestibility, and presence of key essential amino acids and fatty acids. Marinichlorella kaistiae, a new species for Hawai’i, proved suitable for very large-scale cultivation and conversion into biofuel and animal feed, and its fatty acid profile varied with cultivation in freshwater or salt water. Several diatoms proved scalable and may be new representatives of Humidophila, Sellaphora, Nitzschia, and Mayamaea. The composition of an exudate produced by Mayamaea, a taxon previously isolated in Hawai’i in lava tubes, was determined to be a unique mannose-rich exopolysaccharide.