LIPID PRODUCTIVITY IN CHLORELLA PYRENOIDOSA UNDER NITROGEN STARVATION: ENERGY EVALUATION OF AN INTERNALLY ILLUMINATED BUBBLE COLUMN PHOTO BIOREACTORRAJASRI YADAVALLI, RAMGOPAL RAO S AND C.S. RAO
The effect of nitrogen starvation on the biomass and lipid productivities of Chlorella pyrenoidosa was studied in an internally illuminated bubble column photobioreactor (IIBCPBR) designed on the basis of energy efficiency. Algal culture was grown in the inside column with a culture volume of 4.5 L providing illuminated surface area of 0.1219 m2. The biomass growth rate and total lipid content were 3.12 g/L and 0.482 g/g, respectively, under nitrogen starvation after 8 days of cultivation period. Higher biomass productivity per total energy input (0.57 g W-1 day-1) and lipid productivity per total energy input (0.273 g W-1 day-1 ) were achieved with the IIBCPBR design under nitrogen starvation compared to other alternative designs reported in literature. The proposed IIBCPBR design can potentially reduce the energy input in algal cultivation by as much as 40% compared to other bubble column photobioreactors.
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