Subarctic microalgal strains treat wastewater and produce biomass at low temperature and short photoperiod
Algal Research 2018, 35: 160-167
Ferro L, Gorzsás A, Gentili FG, Funk C
In Northern countries, microalgal-based processes are challenging due to low light and temperature conditions during a significant part of the year. Three natural strains from Northern Sweden (Chlorella vulgaris, Scenedesmus sp., Desmodesmus sp.) and a collection strain (Scenedesmus obliquus UTEX 417) were cultured in municipal wastewater, comparing their performances, biomass composition and nutrients removal under continuous light at standard (25 °C) and low temperature (5 °C), short photoperiod (3 h light, 25 °C), or moderate winter conditions (6 h light, 15 °C). Only the natural strains grew at low temperature, highly consuming total nitrogen and phosphate (>80% and >70%, respectively) even during cold- and dark-stress. At reduced growth rates, C. vulgaris and Scenedesmus sp. produced similar amounts of biomass (>1 g/l) as in standard conditions. Scenedesmus sp. and Desmodesmus sp. showed phenotypic plasticity and increased carbohydrate content. Short photoperiod strongly reduced growth rates, biomass and storage compounds and induced flocculation in C. vulgaris.
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