Microalgal Mass Cultivation Technologies

The growth rate and maximum biomass yield of microalgal strains are affected by culture parameters (light, temperature, and pH) and nutritional status (CO2, nitrogen, and phosphate concentrations). On the other hand, increasing the density of cultures decreases photon availability to individual cells. Light penetration of microalgal cultures is poor, especially at high cell densities (Fig. 1), and such poor photon availability decreases specific growth rates. Higher biomass yields could be expected if sufficient photons were provided to high-density cultures of microalgae.

Large-scale culture systems have been constructed (classified as open and closed systems) with the greatest attention paid to the light supply (Fig. 2) (28). Strains such as Chlorella, Scenedesmus, Dunaliella, Spirulina, Por-phyridium, and Haematococcus have been cultured using these systems to provide for several useful materials (6,29-32).

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