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Modeling of the Growth and Product Formation of Phototrophic Microorganisms

Modeling of the Growth and Product Formation of Phototrophic Microorganisms
Contact:Dr.-Ing. Rosa Rosello links:


Microalgae are researched for their technical potential to produce high-value natural compounds such as pigments, polyunsaturated fatty acids, polysaccharides and antioxidants. The most important area of application of these products is the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.
Algae are photoautotrophic micro-organisms and they need a mineral nutrient solution, carbon dioxide as C-source and light as energy source. The experimental set-up provides energy source by artificial lighting and the carbon source by aeration. These two parameters can be varied independently from the medium. This configuration enables to examine the influence of the factor light source, carbon source and medium on the biomass and products during the experiment separately from each other.

The main object of the experiments is to obtain a better understood about photoautotrophic processes. The foreground of the investigations is the influence of light quantity and light quality to the growth and product formation of the algae. A mathematical model will be established using these experimental results. The growth and the formation of functional biopolymers by the algae as a function of the cultivation conditions are covered in this model. The microalgae Porphyridium purpureum will be cultivated under different light conditions in a new photo-bioreactor developed for this purpose.
The peculiarity of this photo-bioreactor is his innovative light device. Using a new developed LED (light emitting diode) – construction the photo-bioreactor is homogeneously illuminated. By using SMD light emitting diodes it is possible to obtain light intensities in the range of production plants, which are illuminated with sunlight.