Fed-batch cultivation of Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis: potassium nitrate and ammonium chloride as simultaneous nitrogen sources.

Research paper by M S MS Rodrigues, L S LS Ferreira, A A Converti, S S Sato, J C M JC Carvalho

Indexed on: 16 Feb '10Published on: 16 Feb '10Published in: Bioresource Technology


Arthrospiraplatensis was cultivated in minitanks at 13 klux, using a mixture of KNO(3) and NH(4)Cl as nitrogen source. Fed-batch daily supply of NH(4)Cl at exponentially-increasing feeding rate allowed preventing ammonia toxicity and nitrogen deficiency, providing high maximum cell concentration (X(m)) and high-quality biomass (21.85 mg chlorophyll g cells(-1); 20.5% lipids; 49.8% proteins). A central composite design combined to response surface methodology was utilized to determine the relationships between responses (X(m), cell productivity and nitrogen-to-cell conversion factor) and independent variables (KNO(3) and NH(4)Cl concentrations). Under optimum conditions (15.5mM KNO(3); 14.1mM NH(4)Cl), X(m) was 4327 mg L(-1), a value almost coincident with that obtained with only 25.4mM KNO(3), but more than twice that obtained with 21.5mM NH(4)Cl. A 30%-reduction of culture medium cost can be estimated when compared to KNO(3)-batch runs, thus behaving as a cheap alternative for the commercial production of this cyanobacterium.