Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, Vol.117, No.6, 720-724, 2014
Seasonal variation of biomass and oil production of the oleaginous diatom Fistulifera sp in outdoor vertical bubble column and raceway-type bioreactors
To evaluate the feasibility of industrial biodiesel production, outdoor mass cultivation of the marine oleaginous diatom, Fistulifera sp. strain JPCC DA0580, was conducted in bench-scale photobioreactors (similar to 200 L, raceway- and column-types) and seasonal variation of biomass and oil content were monitored. Through three seasons (from spring to autumn), the microalgae showed steady growth and oil accumulation in both reactors in spite of fluctuating temperature and solar irradiation. When comparing the both reactors, the column-type bioreactor was better with regard to energy conversion efficiency compared to the raceway-type bioreactor. The areal oil productivity of 3.23 g/m(2)/day is comparable or even higher level as compared with the one from other oleaginous microalgae prepared in outdoor mass cultivation. Furthermore, repeated batch culture experiments resulted in success at least 5 cycles. Through the experimental period, little bacterial contamination was observed while protozoal contamination was a fatal issue. The microalgal cell was robust enough to be handled by an automated pump system in inoculation and harvesting processes, and cell adhesion to the bioreactor wall was not observed. These beneficial features could realize ease of oil production and system maintenance. These findings ensure promising innovation by means of outdoor mass cultivation with this strain toward biodiesel production. (C) 2013, The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. All rights reserved.