Cultivation of Chlorella vulgaris in column photobioreactor for biomass production and lipid accumulation

Y. K. Wong, K. C. Ho, Y. F. Tsang*, L. Wang, Kin Lam YUNG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Microalgae have been used as energy resources in recent decades to mitigate the global energy crisis. As the demand for pure microalgae strains for commercial use increases, designing an effective photobioreactor (PBR) for mass cultivation is important. Chlorella vulgaris, a local freshwater microalga, was used to study the algal biomass cultivation and lipid production using various PBR configurations (bubbling, air-lift, porous air-lift). The results show that a bubbling column design is a better choice for the cultivation of Chlorella vulgaris than an air-lift one. The highest biomass concentration in the bubbling PBR was 0.78 g/L while the air-lift PBR had a value of 0.09 g/L. Key operating parameters, including draft-tube length and bubbling flowrate, were then optimized based on biomass production and lipid yield. The highest lipid content was in the porous air-lift PBR and the air-lift PBR with shorter draft tube (35 cm) was also better than a longer one (50 cm) for algal cultivation, but the microalgae attachment on the inner tube of PBR always occurred. The highest biomass concentration could be produced under the highest gas flowrate of 2.7 L/min, whereas the lowest dry cell mass was under the lowest gas flowrate of 0.2 L/min.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-46
Number of pages7
JournalWater Environment Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

User-Defined Keywords

  • Algal cultivation
  • Chlorella vulgaris
  • Lipid production
  • Photobioreactor


Dive into the research topics of 'Cultivation of Chlorella vulgaris in column photobioreactor for biomass production and lipid accumulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this