Publication
Title
Light regime, harvesting time and operation mode can optimize the productivity of nutritional protein in Chlorella and Spirulina biomass
Author
Abstract
Microalgae have emerged as promising sustainable protein alternatives because of their high protein content and exceptional efficiency in nutrient utilization, land use, and freshwater usage. However, optimization of biomass and protein production in open raceway pond reactors, the most common reactors for large-scale production, remains largely unexplored. Additionally, little is known regarding the operational parameters necessary for essential amino acid (EAA)-rich protein production, which aligns with the nutritional requirements for human consumption. The influence of harvesting time, operation mode (batch and continuous reactor), and photoperiod (continuous and day-night illumination) were studied in 100-L raceway reactors by determining the biomass, protein, digestibility, and EAA productivity of Limnospira indica (previously Arthrospira indica) and Chlorella vulgaris. The continuous operation mode was also validated for L. indica in a closed 83-L photobioreactor. Harvesting time for optimal EEA-rich protein productivity did not necessarily occur when biomass productivity was optimal. The optimal protein and EAA productivities were 16 and 6.7 mg/L/d for C. vulgaris, and 14 and 2.8 mg/L/d for L. indica, respectively. In continuous operation mode, optimal protein and EAA productivities of 9.4 and 5.8 mg/L/d for C. vulgaris and 13 and 2.3 mg/L/d for L. indica were observed, but when a closed reactor was used, L. indica protein and EAA productivity ramped up to 300 and 33 mg/L/d, respectively. Continuous illumination increased the productivity of both microalgae species, especially EAA, which increased by up to 50 %. The optimal EAA index for C. vulgaris (1.8) demonstrated its suitability as a human protein source, which was higher than that of L. indica (0.53), indicating strain dependency. This study provides a toolset to determine a better production strategy for optimal productivity of high-quality protein in the industry.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Algal Research
Publication
2024
ISSN
2211-9264
DOI
10.1016/J.ALGAL.2024.103443
Volume/pages
79 (2024) , p. 1-11
Article Reference
103443
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
The author-created version that incorporates referee comments and is the accepted for publication version Available from 15.09.2024
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
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Research group
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Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
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Creation 15.03.2024
Last edited 19.03.2024
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