The products obtained from algal mass culture can be of very high value (for example,pharmaceutical or food grade
). Extraction technologies of algal biomass canprovide very valuable bio-pharmaceuticals (antioxidants, carotenes, etc) and specialty products(toxins, coloring agents, etc). To illustrate the design process for mass culture pond systems, theproduction and processing of
will be discussed.
2.1.2 Microalgae and seaweed selection for CO2 fixation
Micro-algae can be isolated from various diverse sources, including rivers, lakes, ponds, springs,soil, seawater, basically anywhere in the world. Effective CO2 fixating organisms must be selectedfrom these samples using various selective growth conditions (CO2 tolerance, temperature, etc).A few micro-algae species that are commercially used are discussed in Table 2.1.1.Microalgae and seaweed species must be selected that show optimum growth with CO2 as thecarbon source and that can be cultivated at moderate temperatures and pH. Some organismshave been isolated using flue gas, but studies to date have only been performed at a bench-scale(currently, no commercial ponds use flue gas). One of the major problems with using power plantflue gas, is the lowering of the pH of the pond due to NOx and SOx species present. The pH canbe controlled in a pond system by the addition of CaCO3. Two very promising organisms are
(Figure 2.1.1) and
Table 2.1.1: Various organisms used to produce biomass.
Figure 2.1.2: Spirulina platensis.
is a multicellular, filamentousblue-green algae. Various commercial
production plants currently inoperation.
: 30 g/m2day dry weight.
: Optimum 35 – 37 °C.
: Very tolerable to pH change.
is a unicellular organism thatcan be found in almost any waterenvironment (fresh water and marine).
Figure 2.1.1: Chlorella fusca.
: 26 g/m2day dry weight.
: 35 – 37 °C (dependingon specie).
: Depends on specie.
is a marine seaweedthat can be grown in shallow ponds.9Very little agitation is needed.
: 28 g/m2day dry weight.
: Optimum between 24 –33 °C.
: Relative pH sensitive.Seaweed, when compared to other biomass production, has a higher growth rate and yield. Themajor advantage of seaweed biomass production is the amount of genera that are known and thatare currently being commercially grown.