Potential Evaluation of Freshwater Macroalgae Spirogyra sp., Hydrodictyon sp., Chara sp., Nitella sp., and Cladophora sp. as Source of Vegetable Oil

ABSTRACT : Research on the potential of Jatropha oil and Palm Oil as a renewable energy source has been widely reported. However, algae also has promising potential as a renewable energy source for raw materials of biodiesel production.

This study aims to obtain freshwater macroalgae species that contain a high oil content which can be converted into biodiesel. Green macroalgae samples collected from freshwater ponds and rivers in the Bogor Botanical Gardens, fields in Dago Biru (Bandung), Lido Lake in Sukabumi, and Lake Situ Bagendit in Garut.

Macroalgae samples were then cleaned and dried with sun-dried for 1-2 days and then re-weighed and then dried in an oven with a temperature of 60 oC for 2-3 days to obtain a constant dry weight. Samples of algae that have been dried and then extracted by maceration method using the solvent n-hexane for 2x24 hours, then partitioned with methanol and made soluble pigment removal using activated carbon for 2-3 days.

The extract then evaporated with a vacuum evaporator and obtain algae oil. The quality of the extracted algal oil then analyzed based on the value of acid number, saponification and iodine numbers using standard methods, ie successive FBI-03-A01, FBIA03-FBI-03 and A04-03. Results of quantification analysis of oil content of macroalgae were tested showed Nitella sp. 0.61% w / w, Cladophora sp. 0.57% w / w, Hydrodictyon sp. 0.54% w / w, Chara sp. 0.3% w / w, and Spirogyra sp. 0.15% b / b.

The test results show the quality of macroalgae oil acid number in the range of 55-143 mg KOH / g, which indicates high acid conditions in these algae oil, saponification value 400-500 mg KOH / g oil algae showed a short carbon chain that is in the range butyric acid (C-4) that is more suitable to utilize as a food source (such as supplements) and animal feed, and iodine number in the range of 3-28 g g I2/100 that within the standard requirements of the raw material of biodiesel.

Keywords : Macroalgae, biodiesel, algal oil
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