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Can we approach theoretical lipid yields in microalgae?
- Remmers, Ilse M., Wijffels, René H., Barbosa, Maria J., Lamers, Packo P.
- Trends in biotechnology 2017
- metabolism, microalgae, models, photons, solar radiation, triacylglycerols
- Can we approach theoretical lipid yields in microalgae? Yes: we can substantially reduce the gap between current and theoretical maximum yield. A realistic maximum is around 0.5g triacylglycerol (TAG) per mol photons, about 5 times higher than what is currently achieved in outdoor cultivation. Achieving this realistic maximum will require several breakthroughs. First, outdoor operation typically has low yields, mainly caused by fluctuating insolation. Future adaptive control models will help increase these yields. Additionally, the lipid production capacity of currently used strains needs to increase. Powerful strain-specific molecular toolboxes are being developed, shifting the bottleneck towards understanding metabolism and identifying target genes. Finally, strains and processes should be improved concurrently to fully exploit the potential lipid production from microalgae.