Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 131–135 | Cite as

Cultivation of Chlorella emersonii with flue gas derived from a cement plant

  • Clemens G. BorkensteinEmail author
  • Josef Knoblechner
  • Heike Frühwirth
  • Michael Schagerl


The present study reviews the options of cultivating the green alga, Chlorella emersonii, under photoautotrophic conditions with flue gas derived from a cement plant. It was conducted in the Lafarge Perlmooser plant in Retznei, Austria, where stone coal and various surrogate fuels such as used tyres, plastics and meat-and-bone meal are incinerated for heating limestone. During 30 days of cultivation, flue gas had no visible adverse effects compared to the controls grown with pure CO2. The semi-continuous cultivation with media recycling was performed in 5.5-L pH-stat photobioreactors. The essay using CO2 from flue gas yielded a total of 2.00 g L−1 microalgal dry mass and a CO2 fixation of 3.25 g L−1. In the control, a total of 2.06 g L−1 dry mass was produced and 3.38 g L−1 CO2 was fixed. Mean growth rates were between 0.10 day−1 (control) and 0.13 day−1 (flue gas). No accumulation of flue gas residues was detected in the culture medium. At the end of the experiment, however, the concentration of lead was three times higher in algal biomass compared to the control, indicating that cultures aerated with this type of flue gas should not be used as food supplements or animal feed.


Chlorella Alga CO2 fixation Medium recycling Cement plant Flue gas Biotechnology 



This research was supported by the Austrian climate and energy funds (NEUE ENERGIEN 2020) through the Austrian Research Promotion Agency. We are grateful to Veronika Milocco from BDI BioDiesel International AG for technical assistance in the lab. Sincere thanks go to Thomas Holliber from Lafarge Perlmooser GmbH for aid and support in the cement plant.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clemens G. Borkenstein
    • 1
    Email author
  • Josef Knoblechner
    • 1
  • Heike Frühwirth
    • 1
  • Michael Schagerl
    • 2
  1. 1.BDI–BioDiesel InternationalResearch and Development BioTech AGGrambachAustria
  2. 2.Department LimnologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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