Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 167–176 | Cite as

Long-term outdoor growth and lipid productivity of Tetraselmis suecica, Dunaliella tertiolecta and Chlorella sp (Chlorophyta) in bag photobioreactors

  • Navid Reza MoheimaniEmail author


There has been considerable interest on cultivation of green microalgae (Chlorophyta) as a source of lipid that can alternatively be converted to biodiesel. The ideal microalga characteristics are that it must grow well even under high cell density and under varying outdoor environmental conditions and be able to have a high biomass productivity and contain a high oil content (~25–30 %). The main advantage of Chlorophyta is that their fatty acid profile is suitable for biodiesel conversion. Tetraselmis suecica CS-187 and Chlorella sp. were grown semi-continuously in bag photobioreactors (120 L, W × L = 40 × 380 cm) over a period of 11 months in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Monthly biomass productivity of T. suecica CS-187 and Chlorella sp. was strongly correlated to available solar irradiance. The total dry weight productivity of T. suecica and Chlorella sp. was 110 and 140 mg L−1 d−1, respectively, with minimum 25 % lipid content for both strains. Both strains were able to tolerate a wide range of shear produced by mixing. Operating cultures at lower cell density resulted in increasing specific growth rates of T. suecica and Chlorella sp. but did not affect their overall biomass productivity. On the other hand, self shading sets the upper limit of operational maximum cell density. Several attempts in cultivating Dunaliella tertiolecta CS-175 under the same climatic conditions were unsuccessful.


Chlorophyta Green microalgae Bag photobioreactor Long-term growth Productivity Lipid Fv/Fm Bioenergy Limits to growth 



This study was solely funded by Victor Smorgon Group. The author would especially like to thank Mr. Peter Edwards and Mr. Jonathon Green for their unlimited support. The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance provided by Professor John Beardall from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Special thanks also go to Dr. Susan Blackburn and Dr. John Volkman from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Hobart, Australia for their assistance and advice in initial species selection. Also thanks to the colleagues from BioMax for their unlimited support in setting up and conducting these experiments. Especial thanks goes to Sam Muresan for managing the outdoor bag photobioreactors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Algae R&D CentreMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia

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