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Estimation of microalgal biomass and oil productivity potential in South America by climate-simulated culturing
  • Camila Coronel,
  • LEONARDO CURATTI
Camila Coronel
Argentina Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation
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LEONARDO CURATTI
Argentina Ministerio de Ciencia Tecnología e Innovación
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Abstract

Current production costs of microalgal biomass indicate that only highly-productive cultivation facilities will approach commercial feasibility. Geographical site selection for siting those facilities is critical for achieving target productivities. The aim of this study was to provide a semi-empirical estimation of microalgal biomass and lipids productivity in South America. Simulated-climate was programed in environmental photobioreactors (PhenometricsTM) for a simulation of cultivation in open raceway ponds at different geographical sites. The mean annual South American biomass productivity of 20-cm deep ponds was 12 ± 4 g · m- 2 · d-1. The most productive regions were clustered in the subtropical and tropical regions of the continent. Fortaleza (Brazil) showed a low seasonality and a high annual mean productivity of 23 g · m-2 · d-1 in 5-cm deep ponds. Lipids accumulation and productivity in Fortaleza showed a high microalgal oil accumulation up to 46% (w/w) and a maximum oil productivity of 5 g · m-2 · d-1 for biomass containing around 20% lipids (w/w). This study provides the first semi-empirical estimation of microalgal productivity in South America and supports a high potential of a vast region of the continent.

Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

03 Feb 2021Submitted to Biotechnology Journal
09 Feb 2021Assigned to Editor
09 Feb 2021Submission Checks Completed
23 Feb 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned