Biomass and lipid productivity, lipid content, and quantitative and qualitative lipid composition are critical parameters in selecting microalgal species for commercial scale-up production. This study compares lipid content and composition, and lipid and biomass productivity during logarithmic, late logarithmic, and stationary phase of Nannochloropsis sp., Isochrysis sp., Tetraselmis sp., and Rhodomonas sp. grown in L1-, f/2-, and K-medium. Of the tested species, Tetraselmis sp. exhibited a lipid productivity of 3.9-4.8 gm-2 day-1 in any media type, with comparable lipid productivity by Nannochloropsis sp. and Isochrysis sp. when grown in L1-medium. The dry biomass productivity of Tetraselmis sp. (33.1-45.0 gm-2 day-1) exceeded that of the other species by a factor 2-10. Of the organisms studied, Tetraselmis sp. had the best dry biomass and/or lipid production profile in large-scale cultures. The present study provides a practical benchmark, which allows comparison of microalgal production systems with different footprints, as well as terrestrial systems.
- Lipid composition
- Tropical microalgae