4 years ago

Periodic harvesting of microalgae from calcium alginate hydrogels for sustained high-density production

Periodic harvesting of microalgae from calcium alginate hydrogels for sustained high-density production
David Sinton, Matthew D. Ooms, Brian Nguyen, Scott C. Pierobon, Jason Riordon
High-density biomass production is currently only realized in biofilm-based photobioreactors. Harvest yields of whole biofilms are self-limited by daughter-upon-parent cell growth that hinders light and leads to respiratory biomass losses. In this work, we demonstrate a sustainable multi-harvest approach for prolonged generation of high-density biomass. Calcium-alginate hydrogel cultures loaded with Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 achieved production densities comparable to that of biofilms (109 cells/mL) and optimal total productivity in harvest periods of 2 or 3 days that allowed high-density surface growth without self-limiting cell buildup or surface death. Cross-linking calcium concentration had a strong influence on surface growth and harvest yields, especially in the first harvests. Subsequent harvests achieved more uniform biomass yields and distributions, unaffected by bulk respiration or light penetration. Collectively, these results demonstrate the feasibility of sustained, high-density biomass production by periodic harvesting within microalgal hydrogel cultures. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2017;114: 2023–2031. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. High-density surface layers of microalgae in calcium-alginate hydrogels are periodically harvested. Respiratory light intensities in sub-surface layers did not impede biomass production. At harvested cell densities 0.08 – 3.1 × 109 mL−1, productivity was greatest with 2–3-day harvesting periodicity and 150 mM of calcium cross-linker.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/bit.26325

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