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Open AccessArticle

Microalgae Harvest through Fungal Pelletization—Co-Culture of Chlorella vulgaris and Aspergillus niger

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1390 Eckles Ave, MN 55108, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2014, 7(7), 4417-4429;
Received: 6 June 2014 / Revised: 3 July 2014 / Accepted: 4 July 2014 / Published: 10 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Algae Based Technologies)
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Microalgae harvesting is a labor- and energy-intensive process and new approaches to harvesting microalgae need to be developed in order to decrease the costs. In this study; co-cultivatation of filamentous fungus (Aspergillus niger) and microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris) to form cell pellets was evaluated under different conditions, including organic carbon source (glucose; glycerol; and sodium acetate) concentration; initial concentration of fungal spores and microalgal cells and light. Results showed that 2 g/L of glucose with a 1:300 ratio of fungi to microalgae provided the best culturing conditions for the process to reach >90% of cell harvest efficiency. The results also showed that an organic carbon source was required to sustain the growth of fungi and form the cell pellets. The microalgae/fungi co-cultures at mixotrophic conditions obtained much higher total biomass than pure cultures of each individual strains; indicating the symbiotic relationship between two strains. This can benefit the microbial biofuel production in terms of cell harvest and biomass production. View Full-Text
Keywords: co-culture; filamentous fungi; microalgae harvest; pelletization co-culture; filamentous fungi; microalgae harvest; pelletization

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Gultom, S.O.; Zamalloa, C.; Hu, B. Microalgae Harvest through Fungal Pelletization—Co-Culture of Chlorella vulgaris and Aspergillus niger. Energies 2014, 7, 4417-4429.

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