Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Dr. Wankei Wan


Fossil fuels, our principal sources of energy supply, are non-renewable and research is needed on alternatives that are renewable and potentially more environmentally friendly. Microalgae have been investigated as a future feedstock alternative to petroleum but the technology is still expensive and improvements are needed. Reduction in costs might be achieved by increasing algal biomass and lipid productivity. The lipids can be used to produce biofuels such as biodiesel and biojet fuel. The marine microalga Nannochloropsis oculata grows well and can accumulate high lipid content. In this study, the effects of static magnetic field stimulation (SMF) of 0 (control), 5, 10 and 15 mT were investigated in terms of growth and biochemical composition of this microalga. In comparison to the control, the cells grown at 10 mT had the highest increase in biomass productivity (45%) and lipid productivity (57%) in addition to increase in other co-product yields. Some of the co-products could potentially be used for high value-added applications, thus helping to offset costs even further. The use of magnetic field stimulation on microalgae is a promising technique to enhance growth and productivity, and Nannochloropsis oculata was shown in this study to be a suitable microalgae species to be considered for biodiesel applications.