Abstract

Many green microalgae significantly increased their cellular neutral lipid content when cultured in nitrogen limited or high light conditions. Due to their lipid production potential, these algae have been suggested as promising feedstocks for biofuel production. However, no models for algal lipid synthesis with respect to nutrient and light have been developed to predict lipid production and to help improve the production process. A mathematical model is derived describing the growth dynamics and neutral lipid production of green microalgae grown in batch cultures. The model assumed that as the nitrogen was depleted, photosynthesis became uncoupled from growth, resulting in the synthesis and accumulation of neutral lipids. Simulation results were compared with experimental data for the green microalgae Pseudochlorococcum sp. For growth media with low nitrogen concentration, the model agreed closely with the data; however, with high nitrogen concentration the model overestimated the biomass. It is likely that additional limiting factors besides nitrogen could be responsible for this discrepancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume102
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Fingerprint

Lipids
lipid
Mathematical models
Nitrogen
nitrogen
Biofuels
Photosynthesis
Algae
biofuel
limiting factor
Feedstocks
Nutrients
photosynthesis
Biomass
alga
nutrient
biomass
simulation

Keywords

  • Biofuel
  • Green algae
  • Mathematical model
  • Neutral lipids
  • Photosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal

Cite this

Growth and neutral lipid synthesis in green microalgae : A mathematical model. / Packer, Aaron; Li, Yantao; Andersen, Tom; Hu, Qiang; Kuang, Yang; Sommerfeld, Milton.

In: Bioresource Technology, Vol. 102, No. 1, 01.2011, p. 111-117.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Packer, Aaron ; Li, Yantao ; Andersen, Tom ; Hu, Qiang ; Kuang, Yang ; Sommerfeld, Milton. / Growth and neutral lipid synthesis in green microalgae : A mathematical model. In: Bioresource Technology. 2011 ; Vol. 102, No. 1. pp. 111-117.
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