Optimisation of cultivation parameters in photobioreactors for microalgae cultivation using the A-stat technique

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Light availability inside the reactor is often the bottleneck in microalgal cultivation and for this reason much attention is being given to light limited growth kinetics of microalgae, aiming at the increase of productivity in photobioreactors. Steady-state culture characteristics are commonly used for productivity optimisation and for cell physiology studies in continuous cultures, and are normally achieved using chemostat cultivations. In the present study, we investigated the applicability of a new and dynamic cultivation method called acceleration-stat (A-stat) to microalgae cultivations where light is the limiting substrate. In the A-stat, the dilution rate is increased at a constant rate. This acceleration rate should be a compromise between a short cultivation time, in order to make it a fast process, and the metabolic adaptation rate of the microorganism to changes in the environment. Simulations of the A-stat were done with different acceleration rates to have an indication of the best rate to use. An A-stat was performed in a pilot plant bubble column (65 l) with Dunaliella tertiolecta as a model organism, and results showed that a pseudo steady state was maintained throughout the experiment. From this work, it was concluded that the A-stat can be used as a fast and accurate tool to determine kinetic parameters and to optimise any specific type of photobioreactor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-123
JournalBiomolecular Engineering
Issue number4-6
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • dilution rate
  • light/dark cycles
  • escherichia-coli
  • smooth change
  • growth
  • model
  • cultures
  • simulation
  • efficiency
  • irradiance

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