Bioresource technology

Optimization of CO₂ fixation by Chlorella kessleri cultivated in a closed raceway photo-bioreactor.

PMID 26188557


The aim of this study is to optimize biological fixation of CO2 using Chlorella kessleri cultivated in oil sands process water (OSPW). A lab-scale closed raceway photobioreactor was designed and assembled for cultivation of C. kessleri in OSPW. A fed-batch model describing the dynamics of microalgae growth and CO2, phosphate and ammonium uptake rate was developed based on batch kinetics identified in our previous study, and was successfully validated against experimental data. A model-based optimization method was used to calculate the optimal feeding strategies for CO2, phosphate and light intensity which resulted in a 1.5-fold increase in the final biomass concentration and a 2-fold increase in the average CO2 uptake rate in 240 h (10 days) compared to the initial fed-batch experiment over 432 h (18 days). Finally, scale-up to large-scale continuous operation was considered, and the optimal hydraulic retention time (HRT) and feeding strategy for maximum productivity were estimated.