Investigating the Effects of Media and Light Sources on the Growth of Botryococcus Braunii

A.B. Sengul, M.M. Rahman, E. Asmatulu
Wichita State University,
United States

Keywords: algae, temperature, light, growth media, biodiesel

Summary:

The reduction of world’s petroleum reserves and the environmental problems created by emissions have increased the interests in alternative energy. Biodiesel is an environmentally friendly and biodegradable alternative fuel that is obtained from renewable sources. Biodiesel fuel can be obtained from canola and soybean, palm, sunflower oil, algal oil as a diesel fuel substitute. Algae is known as one of the most promising sources for biodiesel production. The green planktonic microalga, Botryococcus braunii is well known for its ability to produce high amounts of hydrocarbon and has already been proposed as a renewable energy source. The main environmental factors such as temperature, light and nutrients affect growth rate of algae. In this study the effect of media and light on the growth of Botryococcus braunii was investigated for large-scale and economical production of biomass and hydrocarbons. Three types of media and light sources were used with incubation temperature of 22±2°C under klux light intensity for 12/12h light and dark cycle to observe the growth rate. The biomass was evaluated by measuring optical density. The results of this study showed the maximum growth rate was reached after approximately three weeks of incubation and then was followed by the stationary phase. Among the different media and light tested, medium consist of sodium nitrate, sodium phosphate and iron chloride with red/blue light was found to be the best for the growth of the algae.