Biofuel Industry News

  • Zooplankton Could Help Biodiesel Production
    The plankton could be used to produce biodiesel

Zooplankton Could Help Biodiesel Production

Feb 07 2014 Read 7844 Times

Microbes living within lagoons used for the treatment of wastewater could be a viable feedstock for the manufacture of biodiesels. New research, performed by Stephanie Kring, a Clarkson University doctoral student, has found that zooplankton could serve as a base for biodiesels.

Ms Kring found that aerated wastewater treatment lagoons at Canton, US, contain microbes that can also be found in local lakes and rivers. The planktonic, or free-floating, organisms were found in abundance within the 8.5-acre lagoons, meaning that they could be a good renewable source of food.

"At present, these lagoons are designed solely for wastewater treatment, but if the design could be modified to also serve the purpose of greater biofuel production then we may have found a productive path to satisfying some local needs for useful energy such as biodiesel," said Professor Susan Powers, professor of Sustainable Environmental Systems at Clarkson University and co-investigator on the project.

It was found that the lagoons held a low amount of algae compared to what was expected due to the high levels of nutrients found in the lagoons. The zooplankton were found to be feeding on the algae, resulting in high concentrations of the free-floating organisms.

It was also found that there was a lack of predation within the lagoons, meaning that there were very small amounts of fish present that feed on the zooplankton. This also led to large amounts of the organisms being present in the lagoons.

The zooplankton, according to Ms Kring, could help to extract more of the algae's oil in order to use it in the production of biodiesel. This is because the plankton break the algae apart within their digestive tracts, leading to an accumulation of the algae's oil within their eggs and structures.

It is easy to collect the zooplankton from the water, compared to extracting microscopic algae, as they are much bigger. This means that it will be a cheaper and easier extraction process and will result in a greater amount of oil being made available for the biodiesel.

Reader comments

Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.

Post a Comment

Digital Edition

Petro Industry News May 2019

May 2019

In This Edition Analytical Instrumentation - Range of viscometers for oils and fuels - Tackling viscosity measurement at refineries - Krebs stormer digital viscometer Fuel For Thought...

View all digital editions


IDW 2019 - International Downstream Week

May 27 2019 Sardinia, Italy

Caspian Power

May 29 2019 Baku, Azerbaijan

Liquid Gas Europe Congress 2019

May 31 2019 Amsterdam, Netherlands

PetroPhase 2019

Jun 02 2019 Ishikawa, Japan

EAGE Conference & Exhibition 2019

Jun 03 2019 London, UK

View all events