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Growth and photosynthetic activity of Botryococcus braunii biofilms

Wijihastuti, R.S., Moheimani, N.R.ORCID: 0000-0003-2310-4147, Bahri, P.A.ORCID: 0000-0003-4661-5644, Cosgrove, J.J. and Watanabe, M.M. (2017) Growth and photosynthetic activity of Botryococcus braunii biofilms. Journal of Applied Phycology, 29 (3). pp. 1123-1134.

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Botryococcus braunii is a green microalga capable of producing large amounts of external long-chain hydrocarbons suitable as a source of biofuel. There have been several studies indicating that cultures of B. braunii can reduce the energy and water requirement for mass biofuel production, especially if non-destructive extraction methods for milking hydrocarbons are used. Growing microalgae as a raw material for biofuel using conventional liquid-based cultivation (i.e., raceway ponds) has yet to be shown to be economically successful. An alternative solid growth (biofilm) cultivation method can markedly reduce the energy requirements and costs associated with the harvesting and dewatering processes. We evaluated the growth of biofilms of several strains of B. braunii (from races A, B, L and S) and found that three of the four tested races successfully grew to stationary phase in 10 weeks with no contamination. Among all races, B. braunii BOT22 (race B) reached the highest biomass and lipid yields (3.80 mg dry weight cm−2 day−1 and 1.11 mg dry weight cm−2). Irrespective of the race, almost all photosynthetic parameters (FV/F0, PIABS and the OJIP curve) showed that the biofilm cultures were more stressed during lag and stationary phases than in logarithmic phase. We also studied the Botryococcus biofilm profiles using confocal microscopy and found that this method is suitable for estimating the overall biomass yield when compared with gravimetric measurement. In conclusion, the growth characteristics (biomass and lipid) and photosynthetic performance of all races indicated that B. braunii BOT22 is the most promising strain for biofilm cultivation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Copyright: © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
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