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Open AccessArticle

Outdoor Large-Scale Cultivation of the Acidophilic Microalga Coccomyxa onubensis in a Vertical Close Photobioreactor for Lutein Production

Algal Biotechnology Group, Ciderta and RENSMA (Center of Research in Natural Resources, Health and Environment), University of Huelva, 21007 Huelva, Spain
Laboratorio de Microencapsulación de Compuestos Bioactivos (LAMICBA) del Departamento de Ciencia de los Alimentos y Nutrición, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Antofagasta, Avda. Universidad de Antofagasta 02800. P.O. Box 170, 1240000 Antofagasta, Chile
BioAvan S.L., Parque Empresarial Torneo, Geología 97, 41015 Sevilla, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2020, 8(3), 324;
Received: 6 February 2020 / Revised: 29 February 2020 / Accepted: 3 March 2020 / Published: 10 March 2020
The large-scale biomass production is an essential step in the biotechnological applications of microalgae. Coccomyxa onubensis is an acidophilic microalga isolated from the highly acidic waters of Río Tinto (province of Huelva, Spain) and has been shown to accumulate a high concentration of lutein (9.7 mg g−1dw), a valuable antioxidant, when grown at laboratory-scale. A productivity of 0.14 g L−1 d−1 was obtained by growing the microalga under outdoor conditions in an 800 L tubular photobioreactor. The results show a stable biomass production for at least one month and with a lutein content of 10 mg g−1dw, at pH values in the range 2.5–3.0 and temperature in the range 10–25 °C. Culture density, temperature, and CO2 availability in highly acidic medium are rate-limiting conditions for the microalgal growth. These aspects are discussed in this paper in order to improve the outdoor culture conditions for competitive applications of C. onubensis. View Full-Text
Keywords: carotenoids; extremophiles; microalgal biotechnology carotenoids; extremophiles; microalgal biotechnology
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Fuentes, J.-L.; Montero, Z.; Cuaresma, M.; Ruiz-Domínguez, M.-C.; Mogedas, B.; Nores, I.G.; González del Valle, M.; Vílchez, C. Outdoor Large-Scale Cultivation of the Acidophilic Microalga Coccomyxa onubensis in a Vertical Close Photobioreactor for Lutein Production. Processes 2020, 8, 324.

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