Overcoming shear stress of microalgae cultures in sparged photobioreactors

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In the present work we identified and quantified the effect of hydrodynamic stress on two different microalgae strains, Dunaliella tertiolecta and D. salina, cultivated in bench-scale bubble columns. The cell death rate constant increased with increasing gas-entrance velocity at the sparger. Dunaliella salina was slightly more sensitive than D. tertiolecta. The critical gas-entrance velocities were ~ 50 and 30 m s–1 for D. tertiolecta and D. salina, respectively. The effects of gas-flow rate, culture height, and nozzle diameter on the death rate constant were also studied. From these results it was concluded that bubble rising and bubble bursting are not responsible for cell death. Regarding nozzle diameter, small nozzles were more detrimental to cells. The bubble formation at the sparger was found to be the main event leading to cell death.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-85
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • animal-cell culture
  • hydrodynamic stress
  • insect cells
  • dunaliella-tertiolecta
  • lethal events
  • gas-bubbles
  • bioreactors
  • growth
  • sensitivity

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