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Energies 2015, 8(9), 10487-10503; doi:10.3390/en80910487

Eicosapentaenoic Acid from Porphyridium Cruentum: Increasing Growth and Productivity of Microalgae for Pharmaceutical Products

Ralph E. Martin Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
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Academic Editor: Thomas E. Amidon
Received: 16 June 2015 / Revised: 1 September 2015 / Accepted: 15 September 2015 / Published: 22 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Biorefining)
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Abstract

An alternative source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or omega-3 could be microalgae lipids instead of fish oils. However, EPA and lipid contents extracted from microalgae vary at different growth conditions. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to optimize the growth conditions of microalgae to maximize EPA production. In this paper, the effects of temperature (16 °C and 20 °C), light intensity (140 µE m−2 s−1 and 180 µE m−2 s−1) and nitrate level (0.075, 0.3, 0.5, and 0.7 g/L) on the cell growth, lipid productivity, and omega-6/omega-3 ratio of Porphyridium cruentum, one of the most promising oil-rich species of microalgae, are investigated. The ratio of the fatty acids with omega-6 and omega-3 groups at various growth conditions were compared, since an appropriate proportion of ω-6 (arachidonic acid (ARA)) to ω-3 (EPA) is vital for healthy nutrition. Lower EPA production and consequently a higher ARA/EPA ratio occurred when 5% CO2/air was utilized as CO2 supplementation compared to pure CO2. The highest EPA (13.08% (w/w) of total fatty acids) and biomass productivity (143 mg L−1 day−1) was achieved at 140 µE m−2 s−1, 20 °C, and 0.3 g/L nitrate, while lipid content was the lowest (0.5% w/w) at this condition. The optimal condition with minimum ARA/EPA ratio (2.5) was identified at 20 °C, 140 µE m−2 s−1, and 0.5 g/L nitrate concentration. View Full-Text
Keywords: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); fatty acids; lipids; microalgae; photo bioreactor; Porphyridium cruentum eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); fatty acids; lipids; microalgae; photo bioreactor; Porphyridium cruentum
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Asgharpour, M.; Rodgers, B.; Hestekin, J.A. Eicosapentaenoic Acid from Porphyridium Cruentum: Increasing Growth and Productivity of Microalgae for Pharmaceutical Products. Energies 2015, 8, 10487-10503.

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