Scenedesmus rubescens Heterotrophic Production Strategies for Added Value Biomass

Marine Drugs

Gonçalo Espírito Santo, Ana Barros, Margarida Costa, Hugo Pereira, Mafalda Trovão, Helena Cardoso, Bernardo Carvalho, Maria Soares, Nádia Correia, Joana T. Silva, Marília Mateus and Joana L. Silva

Microalgae attract interest worldwide due to their potential for several applications. Scenedesmus is one of the first in vitro cultured algae due to their rapid growth and handling easiness. Within this genus, cells exhibit a highly resistant wall and propagate both auto- and heterotrophically. The main goal of the present work is to find scalable ways to produce a highly concentrated biomass of Scenedesmus rubescens in heterotrophic conditions. Scenedesmus rubescens growth was improved at the lab-scale by 3.2-fold (from 4.1 to 13 g/L of dry weight) through medium optimization by response surface methodology. Afterwards, scale-up was evaluated in 7 L stirred-tank reactor under fed-batch operation. Then, the optimized medium resulted in an overall productivity of 8.63 g/L/day and a maximum biomass concentration of 69.5 g/L. S. rubescens protein content achieved approximately 31% of dry weight, similar to the protein content of Chlorella vulgaris in heterotrophy.

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