Cultivation of Microalgae and Cyanobacteria: Effect of Operating Conditions on Growth and Biomass Composition
The purpose of this work is to define optimal growth conditions to maximise biomass for batch culture of the cyanobacterium Arthrospira maxima and the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris, Isochrysis galbana and Nannochloropsis gaditana. Thus, we study the effect of three variables on cell growth: i.e., inoculum:culture medium volume ratio (5:45, 10:40, 15:35 and 20:30 mL:mL), light:dark photoperiod (8:16, 12:12 and 16:8 h) and type of culture medium, including both synthetic media (Guillard’s F/2 and Walne’s) and wastewaters. The results showed that the initial inoculum:culture medium volume ratio, within the range 5:45 to 20:30, did not affect the amount of biomass at the end of the growth (14 days), whereas high (18 h) or low (6 h) number of hours of daily light was important for cell growth. The contribution of nutrients from different culture media could increase the growth rate of the different species. A. maxima was favoured in seawater enriched with Guillard’s F/2 as well as C. vulgaris and N. gaditana, but in freshwater medium. I. galbana had the greatest growth in the marine environment enriched with Walne’s media. Nitrogen was the limiting nutrient for growth at the end of the exponential phase of growth for C. vulgaris and N. gaditana, while iron was for A. maxima and I. galbana. The growth in different synthetic culture media also determines the biochemical composition of each of the microalgae. All species demonstrated their capability to grow in effluents from a wastewater treatment plant and they efficiently consume nitrogen, especially the three microalga species.
The authors acknowledge the support from INSPIRA1 (S2013/ABI-2783) and ALGATEC-CM (S2018/BAA-4532) projects, both financed by Comunidad de Madrid and co-financed by the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund and RENUWAL network (320RT0005) financed by the CYTED Program.
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