Agwa*, O.K., Ibe, S.N and Abu, G.O
Chlorella is a single celled photosynthetic green alga which has potential as a source of bioenergy and some value added biochemical. The organism was obtained by blooming in a 10:90 mixture of cow dung extract and pond water from fresh water pond at the African Regional Aquaculture Centre (ARAC) situated at Aluu, Rivers State, Nigeria. Blooming was enhanced by aeration using an aquarium pump and artificial illumination with fluorescent tubes (ca15μE/m²/s each).The isolate was cultured using different animal (Goat, Pig, chicken, Cow dung and Grass cutter) wastes. The growth response was monitored under different conditions (i) artificial illumination (aerated and unaerated) which were mounted in a fluorescent chamber at a height of about 30cm, (ii) natural illumination shaken intermittently, at a temperature of 28±2 ̊C for 21 days. The results showed that under artificial illumination (aerated) biomass as dry matter (mg/ml) and lipid content (%w/w) were respectively 3.07 and 3.80 goat wastes; 1.49 and 3.38 pig wastes, 1.69 and 6.61 cow dung waste, 1.48 and 9.72 grass cutter waste and 1.68 and 11.20 chicken wastes. Unaerated condition yielded 1.39 and 0.72 goat wastes; 1.26 and 4.18 pig wastes; 1.44 and 6.63 cow dung wastes; 1.31 and 3.40 grass cutter wastes and 1.58 and 7.17 chicken wastes in biomass as dry matter (mg/ml) and lipid content (%w/w). The natural illumination gave biomass as dry matter(mg/ml) and lipid content (%w/w) respectively as follows goat waste 1.46 and 4.85; pig wastes 1.65and 7.77 ; cow dung waste 1.97 and 10.17; grass cutter wastes 1.58 and 13.70 and chicken wastes 2.50 and 18.32. The lipid can be processed into biodiesel. There is therefore a potential of algal biotechnology in the area of renewable, alternative green energy (biofuel/bioenergy) production using inexpensive growth media formulations such as animal wastes which support the growth of Chlorella sp. Other value added substances such as biochemical and pharmaceuticals can also be obtained from the biomass.
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