|Title||Batch and semi-continuous microalgal TAG production in lab-scale and outdoor photobioreactors|
|Author(s)||Benvenuti, Giulia; Bosma, Rouke; Ji, Fang; Lamers, Packo; Barbosa, Maria J.; Wijffels, René H.|
|Source||Journal of Applied Phycology 28 (2016)6. - ISSN 0921-8971 - 11 p.|
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Keyword(s)||Batch - Microalgae - Outdoor - Semi-continuous - TAG production|
Microalgal triglycerides (TAGs) represent a sustainable feedstock for food, chemical and biofuel industries. The operational strategy (batch, semi-continuous, continuous cultivations) has an impact on the TAG productivity. In this study, semi-continuous (i.e. with fixed harvesting frequency) and batch cultivations were compared on TAG production both at lab-scale and in outdoor cultivations. At lab-scale, the semi-continuous TAG productivity was highest for a cycle time of 2 days (SC1; 0.21 g L−1 day−1) and similar to the maximum obtained with the batch (optimal harvest time; 0.23 g L−1 day−1). Although TAG content was lower for SC1 (22 %) than for the batch (35 %), higher biomass productivities were obtained with SC1. Outdoors, semi-continuous cultivations were subjected to a lower degree of stress (i.e. higher amount of nitrogen present in the system relative to the given irradiance) compared to lab-scale. This yielded low and similar TAG contents (10–13 %) in the different semi-continuous runs that were outdone by the batch on both TAG content (15–25 %) and productivity (batch, 0.97–2.46 g m−2 day−1; semi-continuous, 0.35–0.85 g m−2 day−1). The lab-scale experiments showed that semi-continuous strategies, besides leading to similar TAG productivities compared to the batch, could make TAG production cost effective by valorising also non-TAG compounds. However, optimization of outdoor semi-continuous cultivations is still required. For instance, the nitrogen supply and the harvest frequency should be adjusted on the total irradiance. Additionally, future research should focus on recovery metabolism upon nitrogen resupply.