Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Marine ecosystems can be a promising reservoir of various kinds of chemical components, applicable as pharmaceutical materials, food, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, and others for different industry. As an example, Tunicates, a group of marine animals, have been attracted a lot of attention in medical application, food market, water pollution issues, and Cellulose nanomaterial production due to their consisting of chemical compounds such as cellulose, amino-sugars, and proteins or protein-polysaccharide complexes e.g. collagen, glycosaminoglycan, chitin, scleroprotein, iodine-binding proteins, and elastin. In this project, two dominant species of Scandinavian Tunicates, i.e. Ciona intestinalis and Clavelina lepadiformis, harvested from Norwegian ocean have been classified according to body sizes, depths from the ocean surface, ages and species, and separated physically into outer layer and internal organs, followed by measurements of sugar composition, oil content, and protein content. Application potentials have been investigated by trials for production of pure crystalline cellulose, bioethanol, and biodiesel, and by analysis of amino acid composition of the samples.
The cellulose percentage and cellulose yield for the chemically pure cellulose obtained, is around 96% and 54% respectively, and the protein content is decreased step by step by the acid, alkali, and bleaching process applied. Bioethanol can be obtained by fermentation of tunicate hydrolysate with strains A and C which are derived from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The biodiesel yield of tunicate samples is around 4-6% as an average. The amino acid compositions in our tunicate samples are similar to egg albumin, implying tunicate being an alternative material for animal feed production.
Several processing treatments have been conducted with the aims to fractionate tunicate biomass components or enhance the cellulose accessibility and reactivity. After a single processing step, Ba(OH)2 treated samples seemed to be the best in terms of both cellulose preservation (66.5% cellulose) and protein removal (6% protein in the treated residue). Results from the physical separation plus washing reveal that the highest amount of cellulose and protein presents is found in the outer (Tunic) part and internal organs of Tunicate samples respectively. Data obtained from FTIR(Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) and SEM(Scanning Electron Microscope) indicate that among all processing trials, H3PO4 is the most effective in decreasing the cellulose crystallinity, which renders a higher accessibility for acidic or enzymatic reaction during bioethanol production due to a higher amount of amorphous structure of cellulose.
From the analysis results of component contents and structures, it could be concluded that increase of deepness results in a decrease of sugar content of the Tunicate samples while there are no differences in protein and carbohydrate content in different tunicate species. The body size has a positive influence on the protein content and the sample age alters the contents of both sugar and protein. In addition, Tunicate oil has high phospholipid content instead of glycerol ester, the latter being the common oil from vegetable origins. Moreover, lots of free fatty acid is present, and the composition profile of Tunicate fatty acids seems to be similar to fish oil, as revealed by NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy), FTIR, and GC-MS (Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry).
2011. , 69 p.
Tunicate, Ciona intestinalis, Clavelina lepadiformis, Cellulose whiskers, biofuel