Main content area

Boosting Nannochloropsis oculata growth and lipid accumulation in a lab-scale open raceway pond characterized by improved light distributions employing built-in planar waveguide modules

Sun, Yahui, Huang, Yun, Liao, Qiang, Xia, Ao, Fu, Qian, Zhu, Xun, Fu, Jingwei
Bioresource technology 2018 v.249 pp. 880-889
Nannochloropsis, adverse effects, algae culture, biomass, lighting, lipids, microalgae, surface area
Aiming at alleviating the adverse effect of poor light penetrability on microalgae growth, planar waveguide modules functioned as diluting and redistributing the intense incident light within microalgae culture more homogeneously were introduced into a lab-scale open raceway pond (ORP) for Nannochloropsis oculata cultivation. As compared to the conventional ORP, the illumination surface area to volume ratio and effective illuminated volume percentage in the proposed ORP were respectively improved by 5.53 times and 19.68–172.72%. Consequently, the superior light distribution characteristics in the proposed ORP contributed to 193.33% and 443.71% increase in biomass concentration and lipid yield relative to those obtained in conventional ORP, respectively. Subsequently, the maximum biomass concentration (2.31 g L⁻¹) and lipid yield (1258.65 mg L⁻¹) was obtained when the interval between adjacent planar waveguide modules was 18 mm. The biodiesel produced in PWM-ORPs showed better properties than conventional ORP due to higher MUFA and C18:1 components proportions.