Microalgal triacylglycerides production in outdoor batch-operated tubular PBRs

Giulia Benvenuti, Rouke Bosma, Anne J. Klok, Fang Ji, Packo P. Lamers, Maria J. Barbosa, René H. Wijffels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Microalgal triacylglycerides (TAGs) are a promising sustainable feedstock for the biofuel, chemical and food industry. However, industrial production of microalgal products for commodity markets is not yet economically viable, largely because of low microalgal productivity. The latter is strictly dependent on initial-biomass-specific (IBS) light availability (i.e. ratio of light impinging on reactor ground area divided by initial biomass concentration per ground area). This study investigates the effect of IBS-light availability on batch TAG production for Nannochloropsis sp. cultivated in two outdoor tubular reactors (i.e. vertical and horizontal) at different initial biomass concentrations for the TAG accumulation phase, during two distinct seasons (i.e. high and low light conditions). Results: Increasing IBS-light availability led to both a higher IBS-TAG production rate and TAG content at the end of the batch, whereas biomass yield on light decreased. As a result, an optimum IBS-light availability was determined for the TAG productivity obtained at the end of the batch and several guidelines could be established. The vertical reactor (VR) should be operated at an initial biomass concentration of 1.5 g L-1 to achieve high TAG productivities (1.9 and 3.2 g m-2 day-1 under low and high light, respectively). Instead, the horizontal reactor (HR) should be operated at 2.5 g L-1 under high light (2.6 g m-2 day-1), and at 1.5 g L-1 under low light (1.4 g m-2 day-1). Conclusions: From this study, the great importance of IBS-light availability on TAG production can be deduced. Although maintaining high light availabilities in the reactor is key to reach high TAG contents at the end of the batch, considerable losses in TAG productivity were observed for the two reactors regardless of light condition, when not operated at optimal initial biomass concentrations (15-40% for VR and 30-60% for HR).

LanguageEnglish
Article number100
Number of pages9
JournalBiotechnology for Biofuels
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Biomass
Light
light availability
biomass
Availability
Productivity
productivity
commodity market
reactor
industrial production
food industry
Chemical Industry
chemical industry
Biofuels
biofuel
Food Industry
Feedstocks
Guidelines

Keywords

  • chlorella-zofingiensis
  • lipid-accumulation
  • growth
  • light
  • photobioreactors
  • cultivation
  • design

Cite this

Benvenuti, Giulia ; Bosma, Rouke ; Klok, Anne J. ; Ji, Fang ; Lamers, Packo P. ; Barbosa, Maria J. ; Wijffels, René H. / Microalgal triacylglycerides production in outdoor batch-operated tubular PBRs. In: Biotechnology for Biofuels. 2015 ; Vol. 8.
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title = "Microalgal triacylglycerides production in outdoor batch-operated tubular PBRs",
abstract = "Background: Microalgal triacylglycerides (TAGs) are a promising sustainable feedstock for the biofuel, chemical and food industry. However, industrial production of microalgal products for commodity markets is not yet economically viable, largely because of low microalgal productivity. The latter is strictly dependent on initial-biomass-specific (IBS) light availability (i.e. ratio of light impinging on reactor ground area divided by initial biomass concentration per ground area). This study investigates the effect of IBS-light availability on batch TAG production for Nannochloropsis sp. cultivated in two outdoor tubular reactors (i.e. vertical and horizontal) at different initial biomass concentrations for the TAG accumulation phase, during two distinct seasons (i.e. high and low light conditions). Results: Increasing IBS-light availability led to both a higher IBS-TAG production rate and TAG content at the end of the batch, whereas biomass yield on light decreased. As a result, an optimum IBS-light availability was determined for the TAG productivity obtained at the end of the batch and several guidelines could be established. The vertical reactor (VR) should be operated at an initial biomass concentration of 1.5 g L-1 to achieve high TAG productivities (1.9 and 3.2 g m-2 day-1 under low and high light, respectively). Instead, the horizontal reactor (HR) should be operated at 2.5 g L-1 under high light (2.6 g m-2 day-1), and at 1.5 g L-1 under low light (1.4 g m-2 day-1). Conclusions: From this study, the great importance of IBS-light availability on TAG production can be deduced. Although maintaining high light availabilities in the reactor is key to reach high TAG contents at the end of the batch, considerable losses in TAG productivity were observed for the two reactors regardless of light condition, when not operated at optimal initial biomass concentrations (15-40{\%} for VR and 30-60{\%} for HR).",
keywords = "chlorella-zofingiensis, lipid-accumulation, growth, light, photobioreactors, cultivation, design",
author = "Giulia Benvenuti and Rouke Bosma and Klok, {Anne J.} and Fang Ji and Lamers, {Packo P.} and Barbosa, {Maria J.} and Wijffels, {Ren{\'e} H.}",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1186/s13068-015-0283-2",
language = "English",
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Microalgal triacylglycerides production in outdoor batch-operated tubular PBRs. / Benvenuti, Giulia; Bosma, Rouke; Klok, Anne J.; Ji, Fang; Lamers, Packo P.; Barbosa, Maria J.; Wijffels, René H.

In: Biotechnology for Biofuels, Vol. 8, 100, 2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Microalgal triacylglycerides production in outdoor batch-operated tubular PBRs

AU - Benvenuti, Giulia

AU - Bosma, Rouke

AU - Klok, Anne J.

AU - Ji, Fang

AU - Lamers, Packo P.

AU - Barbosa, Maria J.

AU - Wijffels, René H.

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Background: Microalgal triacylglycerides (TAGs) are a promising sustainable feedstock for the biofuel, chemical and food industry. However, industrial production of microalgal products for commodity markets is not yet economically viable, largely because of low microalgal productivity. The latter is strictly dependent on initial-biomass-specific (IBS) light availability (i.e. ratio of light impinging on reactor ground area divided by initial biomass concentration per ground area). This study investigates the effect of IBS-light availability on batch TAG production for Nannochloropsis sp. cultivated in two outdoor tubular reactors (i.e. vertical and horizontal) at different initial biomass concentrations for the TAG accumulation phase, during two distinct seasons (i.e. high and low light conditions). Results: Increasing IBS-light availability led to both a higher IBS-TAG production rate and TAG content at the end of the batch, whereas biomass yield on light decreased. As a result, an optimum IBS-light availability was determined for the TAG productivity obtained at the end of the batch and several guidelines could be established. The vertical reactor (VR) should be operated at an initial biomass concentration of 1.5 g L-1 to achieve high TAG productivities (1.9 and 3.2 g m-2 day-1 under low and high light, respectively). Instead, the horizontal reactor (HR) should be operated at 2.5 g L-1 under high light (2.6 g m-2 day-1), and at 1.5 g L-1 under low light (1.4 g m-2 day-1). Conclusions: From this study, the great importance of IBS-light availability on TAG production can be deduced. Although maintaining high light availabilities in the reactor is key to reach high TAG contents at the end of the batch, considerable losses in TAG productivity were observed for the two reactors regardless of light condition, when not operated at optimal initial biomass concentrations (15-40% for VR and 30-60% for HR).

AB - Background: Microalgal triacylglycerides (TAGs) are a promising sustainable feedstock for the biofuel, chemical and food industry. However, industrial production of microalgal products for commodity markets is not yet economically viable, largely because of low microalgal productivity. The latter is strictly dependent on initial-biomass-specific (IBS) light availability (i.e. ratio of light impinging on reactor ground area divided by initial biomass concentration per ground area). This study investigates the effect of IBS-light availability on batch TAG production for Nannochloropsis sp. cultivated in two outdoor tubular reactors (i.e. vertical and horizontal) at different initial biomass concentrations for the TAG accumulation phase, during two distinct seasons (i.e. high and low light conditions). Results: Increasing IBS-light availability led to both a higher IBS-TAG production rate and TAG content at the end of the batch, whereas biomass yield on light decreased. As a result, an optimum IBS-light availability was determined for the TAG productivity obtained at the end of the batch and several guidelines could be established. The vertical reactor (VR) should be operated at an initial biomass concentration of 1.5 g L-1 to achieve high TAG productivities (1.9 and 3.2 g m-2 day-1 under low and high light, respectively). Instead, the horizontal reactor (HR) should be operated at 2.5 g L-1 under high light (2.6 g m-2 day-1), and at 1.5 g L-1 under low light (1.4 g m-2 day-1). Conclusions: From this study, the great importance of IBS-light availability on TAG production can be deduced. Although maintaining high light availabilities in the reactor is key to reach high TAG contents at the end of the batch, considerable losses in TAG productivity were observed for the two reactors regardless of light condition, when not operated at optimal initial biomass concentrations (15-40% for VR and 30-60% for HR).

KW - chlorella-zofingiensis

KW - lipid-accumulation

KW - growth

KW - light

KW - photobioreactors

KW - cultivation

KW - design

U2 - 10.1186/s13068-015-0283-2

DO - 10.1186/s13068-015-0283-2

M3 - Article

VL - 8

JO - Biotechnology for Biofuels

T2 - Biotechnology for Biofuels

JF - Biotechnology for Biofuels

SN - 1754-6834

M1 - 100

ER -