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J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2006; 16(12): 1890-1896

Published online December 28, 2006

Copyright © The Korean Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Specific Light Uptake Rate Can be Served as a Scale-Up Parameter in Photobioreactor Operations

Lee Ho-Sang , Sung-Eun Jung , Z-Hun Kim , Jeong-Dong Kim and Choul-Gyun Lee *

Institute of Industrial Biotechnology, Department of Biological Engineering, Inha University, Incheon 402-751, Korea

Abstract

Lumostatic operation for cultivation of Haematococcus pluvialis was assessed to test the scale-up strategy of photobioreactors. Lumostatic operation is a method of maintaining a proper light condition based on the specific light uptake rate ($q_e$), by cells. Lumostatic operations were performed in 0.4-, 2-, 10-, and 30-1 scale bubble column photobioreactors and the results were compared with cultures illuminated with constant light intensity. Significant differences were observed in the maximal cell concentrations obtained from 0.4-, 2-, 10-, and 30-1 scale photobioreactors under constant light intensity, yielding the maximal cell concentrations of $2.8{\times}10^5$, $2.2\times10^5$, $1.5\times10^5$, and $1.1\times10^5$ cells/ml, respectively. The maximal cell concentration in a 0.4-1 photobioreactor under lumostatic operation was $4.3\times10^5$ cells/ml. Furthermore, those in 2-, 10-, and 30-1 scale photobioreactors were about the same as that in the 0.4-1 photobioreactor. The results suggest that lumostatic operation with proper $q_e$ is a good strategy for increasing the cell growth of Haematococcus pluvialis compared with a constant supply of light energy. Therefore, lumostatic operation is not only an efficient way to achieve high cell density cultures with minimal power consumption in microalgal cultures but it is also a perfect parameter for the scale-up of photobioreactors.

Keywords: specific light uptake(qe), Lumostatic operation, Haematococcus pluvialis, scale-up, bubble columnphotobioreactors (BCPs)