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Production of astaxanthin by Haematococcus pluvialis: Taking the one-step system outdoors

AuthorsGarcía-Malea, María del Carmen; Acién, Francisco G.; Del Río, E. ; Fernández, José María; Cerón, M. Carmen; Guerrero, Miguel G.; Molina-Grima, Emilio
KeywordsHaematococcus pluvialis
Continuous culture
Issue Date2008
CitationBiotechnology and Bioengineering, 102(2): 651-657 (2008)
AbstractThe feasibility of a one-step method for the continuous production of astaxanthin by the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis has been verified outdoors. To this end, influence of dilution rate, nitrate concentration in the feed medium, and irradiance on the performance of continuous cultures of H. pluvialis was firstly analyzed indoors in bubble column reactors under daylight cycles, and then outdoors, using a tubular photobioreactor. At the laboratory scale, the behavior of the cultures agreed with that previously recorded in continuous illumination experiences, and attested that the major factors determining biomass and astaxanthin productivity were average irradiance and specific nitrate supply. The rate of astaxanthin accumulation was proportional to the average irradiance inside the culture, provided that a nitrate limiting situation had been established. The accumulation of astaxanthin under daylight cycles was maximal for a specific nitrate input of 0.5 mmol/g day. The recorded performance has been modeled on the basis of previously developed equations, and the validity of the model checked under outdoor conditions. Productivity values for biomass and astaxanthin of 0.7 g/L day and 8.0 mg/L day respectively, were obtained in a pilot scale tubular photobioreactor operating under continuous conditions outdoors. The magnitude of the experimental values, which matched those simulated from the obtained model, demonstrate that astaxanthin can be efficiently produced outdoors in continuous mode through a precise dosage of the specific nitrate input, taking also into consideration the average irradiance inside the culture
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bit.22076
Appears in Collections:(IBVF) Artículos
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