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Growth and biochemical characteristics of an indigenous freshwater microalga, Scenedesmus obtusus, cultivated in an airlift photobioreactor: effect of reactor hydrodynamics, light intensity, and photoperiod

Sarat Chandra, T.; Aditi, S.; Maneesh Kumar, M.; Mukherji, S.; Modak, J.; Chauhan, V.S.; Sarada, R.; Mudliar, S.N.

Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering 40(7): 1057-1068

2017


ISSN/ISBN: 1615-7605
PMID: 28474213
DOI: 10.1007/s00449-017-1768-0
Accession: 059781628

The freshwater green algae, Scenedesmus obtusus, was cultivated in a 3.4 L airlift photobioreactor. The hydrodynamic parameters were estimated at different inlet gas flow rates (1, 2, 3, and 4 LPM) and their subsequent impact on the growth and biochemical characteristics of microalgae was studied. The biomass concentration and productivity increased with an increase in flow rates from 1 to 4 LPM. A maximum of 0.07 g L-1 day-1 productivity of biomass was attained at 3 LPM. An increase of total carbohydrate content from 19.6 to 26.4% was noticed with increment in the inlet flow rate of gas from 1 to 4 LPM. Major variations in total fatty acid content were not observed. The impact of light irradiance on growth and biochemical characteristics of S. obtusus was also evaluated. A maximum biomass productivity of 0.103 g L-1 day-1 was attained at an illumination of 150 μmol m-2 s-1 under continuous light. The major fatty acids reported were palmitic acid (C16:0), α-linolenic acid (C18:3), linoleic acid (C18:2), and oleic acid (C18:1). Biodiesel properties of the microalgae were estimated under various culture conditions. The light profile inside the airlift reactor was experimentally measured and the predictive modelling of light profile was also attempted.

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