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Publication Title | The Rich Diversity of Lipid Distributions in Microalgae

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2011 Annual Meeting Abstracts




PRO 1.1: Algal Oil Processing

Chair(s): N. Dunford, Oklahoma State University, USA; and B. Yeh, Science Applications International Corporation, USA

The Rich Diversity of Lipid Distributions in Microalgae. J.K. Volkman, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Microalgae contain a rich diversity of lipids, carotenoids and other chemicals. Many of these so- called biomarkers can be used to identify sources of organic matter in seawater and sediments. With rapid advances in molecular biology it is now feasible to assign biomarkers to specific lipid biosynthetic pathways and to understand how these biosynthetic pathways might have evolved over geological time. This talk will focus on a few compound classes that appear to be unique to microalgae such as C25 and C30 highly branched isoprenoid alkenes found in specific genera of diatoms. C30 and C32 alkyl diols having a mid-chain hydroxyl group at C-15 have been identified in eustigmatophyte microalgae and shown to be precursors of highly aliphatic biopolymers (algaenans). Perhaps the most unusual compounds found in microalgae are the C37- C39 straight-chain unsaturated ketones (alkenones) found in prymnesiophyte algae such as Emiliania and Gephyrocapsa. The ratio of the di- and tri-unsaturated C37 alkenones is now widely used as a record of sea surface temperatures in ancient sediments. The talk will also discuss features of the fatty acid and sterol distributions that distinguish microalgal lipid profiles and some of the applications of these lipids in commercial products.

Designer Triglyceride Oils and Renewable Chemicals. W. Rakitsky, Solazyme, South San Francisco, CA, USA

Solazyme has developed a unique and proprietary industry-leading microbial chemicals platform which exploits designer triglyceride oils as the basis for the next generation of high performance bio-based fluids and green chemicals. Solazyme?s core technology utilizes microalgae to transform carbohydrate feedstocks into fatty acids in the triglyceride form. These triglyceride oils can then be converted through biological or chemical routes to numerous value-added chemicals, such as surfactants, lubricants and polymers in existing industry infrastructure. Properties of the designer oils are manipulated to increase their value over existing renewable oils by optimizing chain length distribution and levels of saturation. Solazyme?s industrial fermentation manufacturing platform allows production of thousands of tons of designer oils from multiple carbohydrate feedstocks and thus can be deployed worldwide. In this presentation, we will discuss how and why Solazyme?s renewable chemicals platform expands the possibilities for further replacements of petroleum derived oils with renewable, sustainable alternatives.

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