Sugar-stimulated CO2 sequestration by the green microalga Chlorella vulgaris

Weiqi Fu, Steinn Gudmundsson, Kristine Wichuk, Sirus Palsson, Bernhard O. Palsson, Kourosh Salehi-Ashtiani, Sigurður Brynjólfsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To convert waste CO2 from flue gases of power plants into value-added products, bio-mitigation technologies show promise. In this study, we cultivated a fast-growing species of green microalgae, Chlorella vulgaris, in different sizes of photobioreactors (PBRs) and developed a strategy using small doses of sugars for enhancing CO2 sequestration under light-emitting diode illumination. Glucose supplementation at low levels resulted in an increase of photoautotrophic growth-driven biomass generation as well as CO2 capture by 10% and its enhancement corresponded to an increase of supplied photon flux. The utilization of urea instead of nitrate as the sole nitrogen source increased photoautotrophic growth by 14%, but change of nitrogen source didn't compromise glucose-induced enhancement of photoautotrophic growth. The optimized biomass productivity achieved was 30.4% higher than the initial productivity of purely photoautotrophic culture. The major pigments in the obtained algal biomass were found comparable to its photoautotrophic counterpart and a high neutral lipids productivity of 516.6 mg/(L·day) was achieved after optimization. A techno-economic model was also developed, indicating that LED-based PBRs represent a feasible strategy for converting CO2 into value-added algal biomass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-283
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume654
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

Fingerprint

microalga
Sugars
carbon sequestration
sugar
Biomass
Photobioreactors
Productivity
biomass
productivity
Light emitting diodes
Glucose
glucose
Nitrogen
nitrogen
Biotechnology
Flue gases
Pigments
Urea
Nitrates
Lipids

Keywords

  • Chlorella vulgaris
  • CO capture
  • Fine-tuned mixotrophic growth
  • LED illumination
  • Microalga

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

Cite this

Sugar-stimulated CO2 sequestration by the green microalga Chlorella vulgaris. / Fu, Weiqi; Gudmundsson, Steinn; Wichuk, Kristine; Palsson, Sirus; Palsson, Bernhard O.; Salehi-Ashtiani, Kourosh; Brynjólfsson, Sigurður.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 654, 01.03.2019, p. 275-283.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fu, Weiqi ; Gudmundsson, Steinn ; Wichuk, Kristine ; Palsson, Sirus ; Palsson, Bernhard O. ; Salehi-Ashtiani, Kourosh ; Brynjólfsson, Sigurður. / Sugar-stimulated CO2 sequestration by the green microalga Chlorella vulgaris. In: Science of the Total Environment. 2019 ; Vol. 654. pp. 275-283.
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