Converting CO2 to biofuels with photosynthetic microalgae immobilized in cellulose nanofibrils

Ville Rissanen, Mikael Jämsä, Sergey Kosourov, J A Ketoja, Yagut Allahverdiyeva, Tekla Tammelin

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsScientific


    We created versatile templates for biofuel prodn. by using TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibrils (TEMPO CNF) to immobilize photosynthetically active microalgae. In contrast to conventional suspension cultures, entrapping microalgae within a fibrillar matrix greatly enhance cell fitness and viability. The innate hydrophilic and hygroscopic nature and high surface area of TEMPO CNF create a system with favorable water transition properties, while the nanoscale fibrillar network provides mech. stability as well as control over the d./porosity structure. Furthermore, its transparency in the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) region ensures optimal light utilization and enhanced photosynthetic productivity. To demonstrate this, we entrapped H2-producing microalgae in TEMPO CNF via three immobilization approaches: a pure TEMPO CNF hydrogel, a Ca2+ -stabilized TEMPO CNF hydrogel (Fig. 1A) and a chem. cross-linked TEMPO CNF film (Fig. 1B). All approaches showcased excellent biol. compatibility, as well as good H2 prodn. capacity with similar or higher values compared to the conventionally used alginate-based matrixes. The surface interactions between microalgae and TEMPO CNF were also revealed using Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation Monitoring (QCM-D). We found that the anionic surface charges of both microalgae cells and TEMPO CNF prevent surface attachment, leading to immobilization via passive entrapment. Conversely, microalgae cells clearly attach to cationized TEMPO CNF surface. Thus, a simple surface modification can further tailor the matrix towards direct cell attachment. These findings will facilitate the development of new approaches for targeted biofuels and chems. prodn. in bio-industry.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAbstracts of Papers, 257th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Orlando, FL, United States, Mar. 31-Apr. 4, 2019
    PublisherAmerican Chemical Society ACS
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    Event257th ACS National Meeting & Exposition - Orlando, United States
    Duration: 31 Mar 20194 Apr 2019

    Publication series

    SeriesAbstracts of Papers: The American Chemical Society


    Conference257th ACS National Meeting & Exposition
    Country/TerritoryUnited States


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