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Article

Continuous Production of Lipids with Microchloropsis salina in Open Thin-Layer Cascade Photobioreactors on a Pilot Scale

1
Institute of Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Munich, 85748 Garching, Germany
2
TUM-AlgaeTec Center, Technical University of Munich, 85521 Taufkirchen, Germany
3
Werner Siemens-Chair of Synthetic Biotechnology, Technical University of Munich, 85748 Garching, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2021, 14(2), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020500
Received: 16 December 2020 / Revised: 11 January 2021 / Accepted: 17 January 2021 / Published: 18 January 2021
Studies on microalgal lipid production as a sustainable feedstock for biofuels and chemicals are scarce, particularly those on applying open thin-layer cascade (TLC) photobioreactors under dynamic diurnal conditions. Continuous lipid production with Microchloropsis salina was studied in scalable TLC photobioreactors at 50 m2 pilot scale, applying a physically simulated Mediterranean summer climate. A cascade of two serially connected TLC reactors was applied, promoting biomass growth under nutrient-replete conditions in the first reactor, while inducing the accumulation of lipids via nitrogen limitation in the second reactor. Up to 4.1 g L−1 of lipids were continuously produced at productivities of up to 0.27 g L−1 d−1 (1.8 g m2 d−1) at a mean hydraulic residence time of 2.5 d in the first reactor and 20 d in the second reactor. Coupling mass balances with the kinetics of microalgal growth and lipid formation enabled the simulation of phototrophic process performances of M. salina in TLC reactors in batch and continuous operation at the climate conditions studied. This study demonstrates the scalability of continuous microalgal lipid production in TLC reactors with M. salina and provides a TLC reactor model for the realistic simulation of microalgae lipid production processes after re-identification of the model parameters if other microalgae and/or varying climate conditions are applied. View Full-Text
Keywords: microalgae; Microchloropsis salina; open photobioreactors; thin-layer cascade; continuous production; process simulation microalgae; Microchloropsis salina; open photobioreactors; thin-layer cascade; continuous production; process simulation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schädler, T.; Thurn, A.-L.; Brück, T.; Weuster-Botz, D. Continuous Production of Lipids with Microchloropsis salina in Open Thin-Layer Cascade Photobioreactors on a Pilot Scale. Energies 2021, 14, 500. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020500

AMA Style

Schädler T, Thurn A-L, Brück T, Weuster-Botz D. Continuous Production of Lipids with Microchloropsis salina in Open Thin-Layer Cascade Photobioreactors on a Pilot Scale. Energies. 2021; 14(2):500. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020500

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schädler, Torben, Anna-Lena Thurn, Thomas Brück, and Dirk Weuster-Botz. 2021. "Continuous Production of Lipids with Microchloropsis salina in Open Thin-Layer Cascade Photobioreactors on a Pilot Scale" Energies 14, no. 2: 500. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020500

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