DOINITA ROXANA CIOROIU, OANA CRISTINA PARVULESCU, CLAUDIA IRINA KONCSAG, TANASE DOBRE, CRISTIAN RADUCANU RHEOLOGICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF ALGAL SUSPENSIONS FOR BIOETHANOL PROCESSING The paper has aimed at studying the rheology of macroalgae aqueous suspensions in the presence of cellulase enzyme relevant to bioethanol processing by a subsequent fermentation. Rheological measurements of aqueous suspensions of Ceramium virgatum and Cladophora vagabunda macroalgae species were performed using a Couette geometry rotational viscosimeter. The effects of operation temperature (t=25, 50 °C), cellulase/dried algae ratio (R=0, 16 U/mgda), and algal suspension mass concentration (c=5-15%) on rheological behaviour and parameters were evaluated. Algal suspensions behaved as non-Newtonian fluids obeying either a Bingham plastic linear relationship or an Ostwald-de Waele power law corresponding to a pseudoplastic fluid. Characteristic dynamic viscosity of Bingham plastic fluids were in the range 0.045-0.115 Pa×s for C. virgatum suspensions and 0.021-0.114 Pa×s for C. vagabunda ones, whereas apparent viscosity varied from 0.138 Pa×s to 43.551 Pa×s for C. virgatum and from 0.181 Pa×s to 45.417 Pa×s for C. vagabunda. Data obtained in 8 rheological tests corresponding to a Bingham plastic behaviour of C. vagabunda suspensions, which were processed according to a 23 factorial experiment, emphasized an increase in suspension viscosity with all process factors. The results could be useful for optimization of enzymatic hydrolysis process in order to develop efficient and cost effective saccharification and fermentation strategies.
Keywords: macroalga, seaweed, algal suspension, rheology, non-Newtonian fluid, Bingham plastic, power law fluid