Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 104, Issue 1, pp 45–52 | Cite as

Calorimetry and thermodynamic aspects of heterotrophic, mixotrophic, and phototrophic growth

  • Urs von StockarEmail author
  • Ian Marison
  • Marcel Janssen
  • Rodrigo Patiño


A simple stoichiometric model is proposed linking the biomass yield to the enthalpy and Gibbs energy changes in chemo-heterotrophic, mixotrophic, and photo-autotrophic microbial growth. A comparison with calorimetric experiments on the algae Chlorella vulgaris and Chlorella sorokiniana confirmed the trends but revealed large calorimetric measurement inaccuracies. The calorimetric data on purely photo-autotrophic growth was, however, in fair agreement with calculations. The thermodynamic characteristics of photosynthetic growth, including an estimation of the Gibbs energy dissipation, are compared with similar data for chemotrophic microbes.


Bio-photo calorimetry Reaction calorimetry Photosynthetic growth Mixotrophic growth Clorella vulgaris Biological dissipation of Gibbs energy 



The authors gratefully acknowledge important funding for this work by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF).


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Urs von Stockar
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ian Marison
    • 2
  • Marcel Janssen
    • 3
  • Rodrigo Patiño
    • 4
  1. 1.Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)ISICLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.School of BiotechnologyDublin City University (DCU)Dublin 9Ireland
  3. 3.Department of Agrotechnology and Food SciencesWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Departemento de Fisica AplicadaCINVESTAV—Unitad MéridaMéridaMexico

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