(683b) The Impacts of Light, CO2 Concentration, Temperature, Medium On Growth of Microalgae for Biofuels Production

Authors: 
Tang, H., Wayne State University
Abunasser, N. J., Wayne State University
M. E. D. Garcia, M. E. D., Wayne State University
Chen, M., Wayne State University
Li, A., Wayne State University
Ma, H., Wayne State University
Salley, S. O., Wayne State University
Ng, K. Y. S., Wayne State University


Developing biomass feedstocks for biofuels production is vital for our energy security and national economy, as well as for our environment. Algae are among the most promising non-food-crop-based biomass feedstocks. However, there are a very limited number of large-scale commercial operations that grow and harvest algae and these mainly produce relatively high value products such as food supplements and none produce algae with potential for biofuels use economically. The algal production was limited by oil content, growths rates, and cultivation. Microalgal cell growth rates are affected by environmental parameters such as temperature, light intensity, period, trace medium, and gas composition in the culture system, as well as the combination of all these factors. The accumulation of algae oil is strongly dependent on the cell morphology and status of the green cells produced. However, the relationship of operating parameters, algal growth rate, and lipid content for biofuels has not been fully evaluated. Therefore, it is necessary to perform a systematic study to gain a fundamental relationship of the appropriate combination of environmental parameters and algae production system with a large number of cells, rapid turnover rate, and higher lipid content.

In this study, three types of microalgae, Dunaliella tertiolecta, Chlorella Minutissima, and Botryococcus braunii were investigated to better understand and define the operating parameters for the mass production under controlled condition, and to be used towards identification the feasibility of microalgae for producing algal oil based biodiesel. Specifically, the objectives of this research are: (1) Elucidate the effect of light intensity and light wavelength on microalgal growth rate; (2) Identify the effect of CO2 and O2 concentration on microalgal growth rate; (3) Investigate the effect of temperature and PH on microalgal growth rate; and (4) Evaluate the lipid content in the status of microalgal growth.

The results will provide the fundamental engineering knowledge to contribute to develop the large scale of algal production for biofuels production.