The challenge confronting industrial microagriculture: high photosynthetic efficiency in large-scale reactors
The past few years have seen a burst of activity concerning the production of microalgae for commercial purposes. From a modest beginning of chlorella tablets in Japan in the late 1950s, new endeavors that aim to produce health food, food additives, fertilizers and an assortment of natural products emerged as specialized industries the world over (Schlender, 1986). So far, three algal species have attracted the major commercial interest: Chlorella, Spirulina and Dunaliella. The interest in Chlorella is mainly confined to Japan and Taiwan where the products are chlorella tablets (regarded as health food) as well as a “chlorella growth factor” which is said to improve growth in lactic acid bacteria. Spirulina is commercially cultivated today the world over, total annual production in dry biomass is less than 1000 tonnes. Spirulina products in form of pills and spray-dried powder, for the health-food market are produced in Mexico, Taiwan, the USA, Thailand, Brazil, Japan and Israel.
Key wordsSpirulina Chlorella Dunaliella Chlamydomonas microalgae mass cultures reactor design
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