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Durham University

Department of Biosciences


Publication details for Dr John Bothwell

Trivedi, Nitin, Baghel, Ravi S., Bothwell, John, Gupta, Vishal, Reddy, C.R.K., Lali, Arvind M. & Jha, Bhavanath (2016). An integrated process for the extraction of fuel and chemicals from marine macroalgal biomass. Scientific Reports 6(1): 30728.

Author(s) from Durham


We describe an integrated process that can be applied to biomass of the green seaweed, Ulva fasciata, to allow the sequential recovery of four economically important fractions; mineral rich liquid extract (MRLE), lipid, ulvan, and cellulose. The main benefits of our process are: a) its simplicity and b) the consistent yields obtained from the residual biomass after each successive extraction step. For example, dry Ulva biomass yields ~26% of its starting mass as MRLE, ~3% as lipid, ~25% as ulvan, and ~11% as cellulose, with the enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation of the final cellulose fraction under optimized conditions producing ethanol at a competitive 0.45 g/g reducing sugar. These yields are comparable to those obtained by direct processing of the individual components from primary biomass. We propose that this integration of ethanol production and chemical feedstock recovery from macroalgal biomass could substantially enhance the sustainability of marine biomass use.