Carbohydrate-enriched cyanobacterial biomass as feedstock for bio-methane production through anaerobic digestion

Giorgos Markou, Irini Angelidaki, Dimitris Georgakakis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The anaerobic digestion performance using carbohydrate-enriched biomass of Arthrospira platensis was studied. The carbohydrate enrichment was achieved after the cultivation of A. platensis under phosphorus limitation conditions. Three biomass compositions (60%, 40% and 20% carbohydrates content) were used. The overall observation as the biomass carbohydrates increased was that bio-methane yield increased. The highest bio-methane yield in bioreactors with 60% carbohydrates was 203±10ml CH4 gCODinfl-1, while the lowest bio-methane yield in bioreactors with 20% carbohydrates was 123±10ml CH4 gCODinfl-1. The trend of increasing bio-methane yield as carbohydrates content of the biomass increased was observed almost in all three HRT (15, 20 and 30days) studied and after thermal pre-treatment. However, thermal pre-treatment did not improve the bio-methane yield. Ammonia concentration had an overall trend to decrease as the biomass carbohydrates content increased. This study concludes that the increase of biomass carbohydrates through phosphorus limitation process is an attractive technique to improve the bio-methane yield.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)872-879
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Bio-methane
  • C/N ratio
  • Microalgae
  • Biomass

Cite this