Physico-chemical and biotic factors influencing microalgal seed culture propagation for inoculation of a large scale raceway pond

  • T Mutanda
  • RK Ranjith
  • F Bux

Abstract

The growth of Chlorella vulgaris in open pond aquatic conditions poses serious challenges due to the interplay of both physico-chemical and biotic factors. We report here the monitoring of physico-chemical and biotic parameters affecting the propagation of C. vulgaris seed culture for inoculation of a large scale raceway pond (300 000 L capacity) in South Africa. The C. vulgarisstrain used for this purpose was isolated from a wastewater maturation pond and characterized for its potential for biomass and lipid production. The isolate was grown aseptically in 4 × 25 L aspirator bottles in BG-11 medium under ambient laboratory conditions and the culture was supplied with filtered air and exposed to 200 µmol photons per m2 per second using Gro-Lux agricultural fluorescent lights. The culture was transferred to a 500 L capacity portable pool under open conditions. This pond was used to further inoculate 3 more portable ponds. Physico-chemical and biotic growth parameters were monitored on a daily basis in the three ponds. The over reliance on fossil fuels will have a major impact on power supply in the near future if renewable sources of energy are not developed at a fast pace. The developed inoculum was subsequently used to inoculate an open raceway pond for large scale biomass production for biodiesel production.

Keywords: Biodiesel, biomass, inoculum, lipid, raceway pond, seed culture

African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol 13(31) 3607-3616

Author Biographies

T Mutanda
Discipline of Microbiology, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Westville Campus), Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa
RK Ranjith
Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology, Durban University of Technology, Durban 4001, South Africa
F Bux
Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology, Durban University of Technology, Durban 4001, South Africa
Published
2015-09-17
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1684-5315