Semi-continuous process as a promising technique in Ankistrodesmus braunii cultivation in photobioreactor

  • Marcello Dapievi Bresaola
  • Ana Lucía Morocho-Jácome
  • Marcelo Chuei Matsudo
  • João Carlos Monteiro de CarvalhoEmail author


Microalgae are unicellular and photosynthetic organisms which have great potential for providing various products of interest in the food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics industry. The green alga Ankistrodesmus braunii has been cited as capable of producing large amounts of lipids. In this sense, this work aims to study A. braunii growth in tubular photobioreactor using different amounts of nitrogen and under different cultivation processes. In batch cultures, the maximum biomass concentration (Xm) was 1588 ± 11 mg L−1 using 20 mM of NaNO3. A fed-batch process with the addition of 20 mM NaNO3 each 48 h from the first to the sixth cultivation day reached Xm = 2753 ± 7 mg L−1. The semi-continuous process was effective to eliminate the lag phase, allowing to obtain Xm = 2399 ± 5 mg L−1. In this condition, the protein and lipid levels in the biomass were 33.1 ± 0.2% and 38.6 ± 0.2%, respectively. The maximum specific growth rate (μm) reached a maximum value of 0.998 day−1 in the semi-continuous process using 20 mM NaNO3. The results of this study show the potential for the production in a large scale of A. braunii as a source of protein and lipids for commercial applications.


Ankistrodesmus braunii Chlorophyta Semi-continuous process Batch process Fed-batch process Sodium nitrate Microalgae 



The authors acknowledge the support of “Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico” (CNPq), São Paulo, Brazil.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemical and Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Institute of Natural ResourcesFederal University of ItajubáItajubáBrazil

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