Submitted to: American Oil Chemists' Society Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/12/2016
Publication Date: 5/1/2016
Citation: Liu, K., Barrows, F., Woolman, M.J. 2016. Composition, mineral profiles and characterization of the ash component in 12 algae samples. In: Protein and Co-Products Interest Area, American Oil Chemists' Society Meeting, May 1-4, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT. p. 2-3.
Technical Abstract: Algae have been used as food, feed, fertilizer, and lately as an attractive biomass for renewable energy. Key advantages of algae include prolific growth rates, the ability to grow on lands that are marginal for other agricultural purposes, and the ability to clean up water resources with excess nutrients. Unfortunately, algal biomass is known for high ash content. It is important to measure ash content and characterize its chemical nature, since such properties can significantly affect the value and potential applications of the algal biomass. In the present study, 12 algae samples of different species or sources were measured for proximate composition and mineral profile, and underwent wet digestion and microscopic examination. Results showed that these algae samples varied greatly in proximate composition, with protein ranging 12.27-69.68%, oil 0.81-22.29%, ash 1.91-39.75% and total carbohydrate 21.60-75.32%, all on dry matter basis. When the algae samples were subjected to wet digestion, some portion of ash was indigestible. There was a strong positive correlation between ash content and indigestible ash content (with R2 = 0.9371), whereas the latter correlated positively with contents of Ca, Fe, Al, Ba, and Cr in the samples. Based on chemical data and micrographs, it is concluded that a significant portion of ash in algae was sand, particularly for those with higher ash content.