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Combining medium recirculation with alternating the microalga production strain: a laboratory and pilot scale cultivation test
Fret, J.; Roef, L.; Diels, L.; Tavernier, S.; Vyverman, W.; Michiels, M. (2020). Combining medium recirculation with alternating the microalga production strain: a laboratory and pilot scale cultivation test. Algal Research 46: 101763. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.algal.2019.101763
In: Algal Research. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 2211-9264, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Fret, J.
  • Roef, L.
  • Diels, L.
  • Tavernier, S.
  • Vyverman, W.
  • Michiels, M.

Abstract
    Reuse of growth medium after biomass harvesting is a cost-saving approach to improve the economic feasibility of algae mass cultivation. Algal exudates, cell debris and varying amounts of residual nutrients, impose challenges to the recycling of spent medium. In this study, the potential of combining reused medium from different algae species for growing monocultures of other algal strains was evaluated by making use of three successive cultivation setups with increasing volume; 400 mL in turbidostat mode, 2.6 L and 220 L in semi-continuous mode. Cultivation on replenished medium derived from Nannochloropsis sp. and Tisochrysis lutea, had no adverse effect on the productivity of either of the strains, regardless of whether they were grown in their own recycled medium or that of the other alga. Microfiltration of the reused medium proved to be sufficient to avoid cross-contamination. Moreover, a substantial average reduction in water footprint (77%) and nutrient cost (68% or 9 €·kg1 dry biomass) was achieved. Extension and validation of the medium recycling approach to other economically interesting algae species can contribute to improving the economic feasibility of large scale microalgae production systems.

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