Kinetic modelling of growth and storage molecule production in microalgae under mixotrophic and autotrophic conditions

Victoria O. Adesanya, Matthew P. Davey, Stuart A. Scott, Alison G. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In order to improve algal biofuel production on a commercial-scale, an understanding of algal growth and fuel molecule accumulation is essential. A mathematical model is presented that describes biomass growth and storage molecule (TAG lipid and starch) accumulation in the freshwater microalga Chlorella vulgaris, under mixotrophic and autotrophic conditions. Biomass growth was formulated based on the Droop model, while the storage molecule production was calculated based on the carbon balance within the algal cells incorporating carbon fixation via photosynthesis, organic carbon uptake and functional biomass growth. The model was validated with experimental growth data of C. vulgaris and was found to fit the data well. Sensitivity analysis showed that the model performance was highly sensitive to variations in parameters associated with nutrient factors, photosynthesis and light intensity. The maximum productivity and biomass concentration were achieved under mixotrophic nitrogen sufficient conditions, while the maximum storage content was obtained under mixotrophic nitrogen deficient conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-304
Number of pages12
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume157
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Kinetic model
  • Microalgae
  • Mixotrophic
  • Starch
  • Triacyglycerides (TAG)

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