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ALGAE > Volume 28(1); 2013 > Article
ALGAE 2013;28(1): 93-99. doi: https://doi.org/10.4490/algae.2013.28.1.093
Natural production of alkane by an easily harvested freshwater cyanobacterium, Phormidium autumnale KNUA026
Jiwon Chang1,2, Ji Won Hong1,2, Hyunsik Chae1, Han Soon Kim1, Kyung Mok Park3, Kyoung In Lee4 and Ho-Sung Yoon1,2,*

1Department of Biology, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701, Korea
2Advanced Bio-resource Research Center, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701, Korea
3Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Dongshin University, Naju 520-714, Korea
4Biotechnology Industrialization Center, Dongshin University, Naju 520-811, Korea
*Corresponding Author  Email: hyoon@knu.ac.kr
A freshwater cyanobacterium, Phormidium autumnale KNUA026, was isolated from puddles of icy water in Gyeongsan City, South Korea and its potential as a biofuel feedstock was investigated. Maximal growth was obtained when the culture was incubated at 25°C and around pH 9.0. The total lipid content of the isolate was approximately 14.0% of dry weight and it was found that strain KNUA026 was able to autotrophically synthesize heptadecane (C17H36) which can be directly used as fuel without requiring a transesterification step. As this benthic cyanobacterium was capable of forming thick mats, it could be easily harvested by gravitational settling and this property may reduce the cost of production in commercial applications. Hence, P. autumnale KNUA026 appears to be a promising resource for use in the production of microalgae-based biofuels.
Key words: algae-based fuel; alkane; cyanobacterium; heptadecane; Phormidium autumnale

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