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High-Density Microalgae Cultivation in Open Thin-Layer Cascade Photobioreactors with Water Recycling

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Institute of Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Munich, Boltzmannstr. 15, 85748 Garching, Germany
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TUM-AlgaeTec Center, Department of Aerospace and Geodesy, Technical University of Munich, Ludwig Bölkow Campus, Willy Messerschmitt Str. 1, 82024 Taufkirchen, Germany
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University Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Leopoldstr. 5, 80802 Munich, Germany
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German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Partner Site Munich, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany
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Institute of Hydrochemistry, Technical University of Munich, Marchioninistr. 17, 81377 Munich, Germany
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Werner Siemens-Chair of Synthetic Biotechnology, Technical University of Munich, Lichtenbergstr. 4, 85748 Garching, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 3883; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10113883
Received: 14 May 2020 / Revised: 29 May 2020 / Accepted: 2 June 2020 / Published: 3 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Algal Biorefinery and Microbial Fuel Cells)
(1) Background: Recycling of water and non-converted nutrients is considered to be a necessity for an economically viable production of microalgal biomass as a renewable feedstock. However, medium recycling might also have a negative impact on algal growth and productivity due to the accumulation of growth-inhibiting substances. (2) Methods: Consecutive batch processes with repeated water recycling after harvesting of algal biomass were performed with the saline microalga Microchloropsis salina in open thin-layer cascade photobioreactors operated at a physically simulated Mediterranean summer climate. The impact of water recycling on culture performance was studied and the composition of the recycled water was analyzed. (3) Results: Water recycling had no adverse effect on microalgal growth and biomass productivity (14.9−21.3 g m−2 d−1) if all necessary nutrients were regularly replenished and KNO3 was replaced by urea as the nitrogen source to prevent the accumulation of K+ ions. Dissolved organic carbon accumulated in recycled water, probably promoting mixotrophic growth. (4) Conclusion: This study shows that repeated recycling of water is feasible even in high-density cultivation processes with M. salina of more than 30 g L−1 cell dry weight, increasing culture performance while reducing nutrient consumption and circumventing wastewater production. View Full-Text
Keywords: microalgae; Microchloropsis salina; open photobioreactor; thin-layer cascade; water recycling microalgae; Microchloropsis salina; open photobioreactor; thin-layer cascade; water recycling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schädler, T.; Neumann-Cip, A.-C.; Wieland, K.; Glöckler, D.; Haisch, C.; Brück, T.; Weuster-Botz, D. High-Density Microalgae Cultivation in Open Thin-Layer Cascade Photobioreactors with Water Recycling. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 3883. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10113883

AMA Style

Schädler T, Neumann-Cip A-C, Wieland K, Glöckler D, Haisch C, Brück T, Weuster-Botz D. High-Density Microalgae Cultivation in Open Thin-Layer Cascade Photobioreactors with Water Recycling. Applied Sciences. 2020; 10(11):3883. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10113883

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schädler, Torben, Anna-Cathrine Neumann-Cip, Karin Wieland, David Glöckler, Christoph Haisch, Thomas Brück, and Dirk Weuster-Botz. 2020. "High-Density Microalgae Cultivation in Open Thin-Layer Cascade Photobioreactors with Water Recycling" Applied Sciences 10, no. 11: 3883. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10113883

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