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Jacobs University Bremen (2015)

Development of a management system for large scale algae cultures

Winckelmann Dominik

Titre : Development of a management system for large scale algae cultures

Auteur : Winckelmann Dominik

Université de soutenance : Jacobs University Bremen

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2015

Cyanobacteria and microalgae are versatile organisms for which many possible applications are proposed. Presently the economical viable applications are limited to waste water remediation and biomass production for human consumption. The widespread industrial growth of cyanobacteria and microalgae is prevented by the high costs, the low productivity and the stability of the production process. The improvement of the production process is desirable because of its independence from arable land. The work reported in this PhD thesis was aimed to develop a management system to improve long time stability of outdoor open pond algae cultures grown under extreme environmental conditions. Therefore indigenous algae were isolated from a reed bed water treatment plant in the arid al-Wusta region of the Sultanate of Oman. They were tested for high growth rates under increasing salt stress and at high temperatures in the laboratory. The isolated species Cyanobacterium aponinum and Scenedesmus spec. were selected for growth in outdoor open pond systems. After growth was established in 600L open pond cultures it was shown that other algae would invade the cultures operated in batch mode. After harvesting the cultures every other day the pH of the cultures increased to values of up to 10.5 and the salinity did not exceed 25 mS/ cm. C. aponinum cultures reached a product ivity of 24 g/m²/ day while the contamination with other algae reached a 2 % cell/ cell threshold on day 12. Scenedesmus cultures reached a productivity of 16 g/m²/ day with contaminations breaching the 2 % cell/ cell value after 26 days the latest . This was repeated in two consecutive years. It was shown that simple steps during the management of an algae growth process have a tremendous impact on the assertiveness of unwanted indigenous algae and the productivity of the production strain. The findings of this thesis are the first steps on other ways to manage open pond cultures. Other management modes like continuous growth and harvesting or maintaining certain nutrient levels might permit new algae to grow outdoors at economical viable production rates.


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Page publiée le 29 août 2016, mise à jour le 8 janvier 2019