African Journal of
Biotechnology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12191

Full Length Research Paper

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

Mutanda, T.*
  • Mutanda, T.*
  • Discipline of Microbiology, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Westville Campus), Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa.
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Ranjith Kumar R.
  • Ranjith Kumar R.
  • Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology, Durban University of Technology, Durban 4001, South Africa.
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Bux, F.
  • Bux, F.
  • Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology, Durban University of Technology, Durban 4001, South Africa.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 05 March 2014
  •  Accepted: 15 August 2014
  •  Published: 27 August 2014

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.

 

Key words: Biodiesel, biomass, inoculum, lipid, raceway pond, seed culture.