Growth of oil accumulating microalga Neochloris oleoabundans under alkaline-saline conditions

A.M. Santos, M.G.J. Janssen, P.P. Lamers, W.A.C. Evers, R.H. Wijffels

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87 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of elevated pH and salt concentration on the growth of the freshwater microalga Neochloris oleoabundans was investigated. A study was conducted in 24-well plates on the design of a growth medium and subsequently applied in a photobioreactor. An artificial seawater medium with reduced Ca(2+) and PO(4)(3-) could prevent mineral precipitation at high pH levels. Growth was characterized in this new medium at pH8.1 and at pH10.0, with 420mM of total salts. Specific growth rates of 0.08h(-1) at pH8.1 and 0.04h(-1) at pH10.0 were obtained under controlled turbidostat cultivation. The effect of nitrogen starvation on lipid accumulation was also investigated. Fatty acids content increased not only with nitrogen limitation but also with a pH increase (up to 35% in the dry biomass). Fluorescence microscopy gave visual proof that N. oleoabundans accumulates oil bodies when growing in saline conditions at high pH.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-599
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • carbon-dioxide
  • flue-gas
  • biomass
  • photobioreactor
  • feedstocks
  • metabolism
  • economics
  • biodiesel
  • biofuels


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