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Lipid content and fatty acid profile of selected halophytic plants reveal a promising source of renewable energy

Patel, Manish Kumar, Pandey, Sonika, Brahmbhatt, Harshad R., Mishra, Avinash, Jha, Bhavanath
Biomass and bioenergy 2019 v.124 pp. 25-32
Atriplex, Salicornia, Salvadora persica, Sesuvium portulacastrum, Sporobolus virginicus, Suaeda, biofuels, fatty acid composition, feedstocks, halophytes, linolenic acid, lipid content, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid
Recent research has focused on the production of biofuel from different bio-resources, especially non-edible and underutilized plants. In this study, total lipid contents and fatty acids composition were evaluated both qualitatively and quantitatively for twelve abundant halophytes to ascertain their potential as feedstock for renewable energy. Non-succulent halophytes contained the highest total lipid content (about 5–7%, except Porteresia coarctata), followed by shrubby (about 2.6%) and succulent halophytes (1–1.8%). The FA profile shows that halophytes are a rich source of alpha-linolenic, linolenic and palmitic acids. Oleic and stearic acids were also detected in some halophytes. A low content of MUFA (except P. coarctata) was detected in all the halophytes, but the maximum content of SFA was estimated in Salicornia brachiata, Suaeda fruticosa, and P. coarctata. Halophyte Sporobolus virginicus contained more than 80% PUFA, followed by Heleochloa setulosa, Sesuvium portulacastrum, Atriplex griffithii and Salvadora persica. An important qualitative indicator density was found to be at par with recommended standards, but the cetane number of S. fruticosa and S. brachiata also matched the standards. The overall fatty acid profile of the selected halophytes makes them suitable for biofuel, and their potential could be enriched by improving agronomical practices and downstream processing.