A kinetic model for lutein production by the green microalga Chlorella protothecoides in heterotrophic culture
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Production of lutein by the green microalga Chlorella protothecoides grown heterotrophically in a fermentor using glucose as the carbon source and urea as the nitrogen source was investigated. An unstructured kinetic model was proposed to describe the microalgal culture system including cell growth, lutein formation, as well as glucose and nitrogen consumption. The inhibition potentials of biomass, product and substrates on growth and lutein formation were examined and incorporated into the kinetic model. Values of the kinetic model parameters were estimated. The resulting model predictions were in good agreement with the experimental results. The model can be helpful in scale-up, optimization and control of the C. protothecoides culture process, and can also be used as a guideline for similar microalgal cultivation systems.
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