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Kinetic characterization of Scenedesmus quadricauda under low irradiation conditions

Buitrón, Germán, Figueroa‐González, Ivonne, Quijano, Guilllermo
Journal of chemical technology and biotechnology 2018 v.93 no.3 pp. 842-848
Scenedesmus quadricauda, biomass, carbon dioxide, irradiation, light intensity, mass transfer, microalgae, models, oxygen
BACKGROUND: The kinetic parameters of a model culture of Scenedesmus quadricauda were assessed under low light irradiation conditions. A simple and reliable method was developed for the kinetic characterization, which avoided CO₂ mass transfer limitations and allowed the retrieval of accurate kinetic data. Biomass and oxygen yields were also assessed. RESULTS: A maximum specific CO₂ uptake rate of 0.015 ± 0.002 gCO₂ g‐¹VS h‐¹ and half‐saturation constant of 91 ± 13 gCO₂ mLᵢq‐³ were determined for S. quadricauda at a light intensity of 30 µmol m‐² s‐¹ at 25 °C. The biomass and oxygen yields ranged from 0.045–0.137 g VS g‐¹CO₂ and 0.211–0.505 gO₂ g‐¹CO₂, respectively, both parameters being dependent on the initial CO₂ concentration used. CONCLUSION: A simple and reliable methodology for the kinetic characterization of microalgal cultures was developed and tested. It was demonstrated that the maximum specific CO₂ uptake rate of S. quadricauda at 30 µmol m‐² s‐¹ was higher than previous values reported for Scenedesmus cultures exposed to light intensities up to 4.5 times higher but limited by CO₂ mass transfer. The methodology and results obtained are useful for determining whether or not to implement a given microalgal‐based process under low irradiance conditions. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry