Fucoxanthin production from Tisochrysis lutea and Phaeodactylum tricornutum at industrial scale
Hugo Pereira, Marta Sá, Inês Maia, Alexandre Rodrigues, Iago Teles, Rene H. Wijffels, João Navalho, Maria Barbosa
Fucoxanthin is a xanthophyll carotenoid with high market value. Currently, seaweeds are the primary source for fucoxanthin industrial production. However, marine microalgae reach 5 to 10 times higher concentrations (2.24 to 26.6 mg g−1 DW) and are considered a promising feedstock. In this work, two marine microalgae were produced at industrial scale to evaluate biomass and fucoxanthin production: Phaeodactylum tricornutum for autumn/winter and Tisochrysis lutea for spring/summer. Both strains were grown in 15 m3 tubular flow-through photobioreactors; for 170 consecutive days of semi-continuous cultivation regime. The average volumetric biomass productivities of P. tricornutum and T. lutea were 0.11 and 0.09 g DW L−1 day−1. P. tricornutum reached higher maximum biomass concentration (2.87 g DW L−1) than T. lutea (1.47 g DW L−1). P. tricornutum fucoxanthin content ranged between 0.2 and 0.7% DW, while T. lutea between 0.2 and 0.6% DW. The fucoxanthin content was correlated with the irradiation (MJ m−2) and biomass concentration in the photobioreactor (g L−1). This is the first work in literature reporting a long-term industrial production of T. lutea. Overall, we showed possible scenarios for fucoxanthin production from microalgae, increasing the window to supply the industry with steady production throughout the year.