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Fermentation 2017, 3(4), 59; doi:10.3390/fermentation3040059

Optimization of Arthrospira platensis (Spirulina) Growth: From Laboratory Scale to Pilot Scale

1
Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA Cadarache), Groupe Biomasse 3G, F-13108 Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France
2
Microphyt, 713 Route de Mudaison, F-34670 Baillargues, France
3
Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA Cadarache), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Aix Marseille Université, UMR7265, Institut de Biosciences et Biotechnologies Aix Marseille, F-13108 Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France
4
Spiruline de la côte bleue, Les fortunés, Route des Bassins, F-13180 Gignac-la-Nerthe, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 1 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 November 2017 / Published: 7 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultivation and Downstream Processing of Microalgal Biomass)
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Abstract

Arthrospira platensis (Spirulina) is the most cultivated microalga worldwide. Improving its cultivation in terms of biomass productivity, quality, or production cost could significantly impact the Spirulina industry. The objectives of this paper were defined as to contribute to this goal. Spirulina biomass productivity was investigated through medium choice. A modified Zarrouk’s medium was selected as it gave higher final dry weights and longer sustained growth than Hiri’s and Jourdan’s media. Then, in order to reduce Spirulina production cost, modified Zarrouk’s medium was rationalized by testing different dilutions. It was found that modified Zarrouk’s medium could be diluted up to five times without impacting the growth rates in a 28-days batch cultivation. Higher dry weights were even observed after 21 days of batch cultivation (1.21 g/L for 20%-modified Zarrouk’s medium in comparison to 0.84 g/L for modified Zarrouk’s medium). Iron uptake was then investigated as one of the major contributors to Spirulina nutritional quality. An increase in iron content was obtained by replacing iron sulfate by iron EDTA at a concentration of 10 mgFe/L (2.11 ± 0.13 mgFe/gbiomass for EDTA-FeNa, 3 H2O at 10 mgFe/L compared to 0.18 ± 0.13 for FeSO4,6H2O at 2 mgFe/L). Impact of light intensity on Spirulina biomass productivity was also investigated in a 2 L Photobioreactor (PBR). Specific growth rates were calculated for Photosynthetically Photon Flux Densities (PPFD) from 85 to 430 µmol/m2/s. At 430 µmol/m2/s, photoinhibition was not observed and the specific growth rate was maximum (0.12/day). Finally, a 40-day cultivation experiment was conducted in a 1000 L PBR giving a maximum daily areal productivity of 58.4 g/m2/day. A techno-economic analysis gave production cost two to 20 times higher for PBR (from 18.71 to 74.29 €/kg) than for open ponds (from 3.86 to 9.59 €/kg) depending on Spirulina productivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: Spirulina cultivation; iron content; light intensity; medium rationalization Spirulina cultivation; iron content; light intensity; medium rationalization
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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

Delrue, F.; Alaux, E.; Moudjaoui, L.; Gaignard, C.; Fleury, G.; Perilhou, A.; Richaud, P.; Petitjean, M.; Sassi, J.-F. Optimization of Arthrospira platensis (Spirulina) Growth: From Laboratory Scale to Pilot Scale. Fermentation 2017, 3, 59.

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