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Microalgae culture in photobioreactor as a tool for atmospheric CO2 mitigation

Grant number: 08/03487-0
Support type:Program for Research on Bioenergy (BIOEN) - Research Partnership for Technological Innovation (PITE)
Duration: May 01, 2010 - November 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany - Applied Botany
Cooperation agreement: BRASKEM
Principal Investigator:Ana Teresa Lombardi
Grantee:Ana Teresa Lombardi
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Company: Braskem S/A
City: São Carlos
Assoc. researchers:Armando Augusto Henriques Vieira ; Carlos Henrique Britto de Assis Prado ; Maria da Graça Gama Melão ; Maria Inês Salgueiro Lima ; Paula Cristina Garcia Manoel Crnkovic


The increase of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has led to global warming problems of difficult solution. As a consequence, drastic climatic alterations have been observed. The development/application of new technologies for the mitigation of atmospheric CO2 is a contribution to the generation of clean development mechanisms. A strategy being considered for atmospheric CO2 mitigation relies on plant photosynthesis. Photosynthetic microbes, which have high surface/volume ratios present substantially high productivity, thus high CO2 sequestration potential. Literature data show that biological CO2 mitigation processes may counteract from 10 to 20% of fossil fuel emissions by the year 2050. The present research aims the use of microalgae for atmospheric CO2 mitigation, which is accomplished through algal photosynthetic process. This goal is to be achieved through algae (Chlorella vulgaris, a freshwater Chlorophyceae) cultivation in outdoor photobioreactor systems. The proposed system has a capacity of 3,5 m3 and should produce up to 3 to 5 kg day-1 dry algal biomass. Firstly, the microalgae will be cultivated in batch laboratory controlled cultures, where growth conditions (pH, nitrate and phosphate concentrations, vitamins and gas bubbling) will be defined as to obtain lower cost and high biomass production (thus high CO2 sequestration). Secondly, the laboratory defined conditions will be applied to continuous flow systems in laboratory based experiments and outdoor photobioreactor. CO2 balance and microalgae biochemical composition will be determined and compared to those obtained in controlled conditions. Water quality parameters: CO2, O2, pH and temperature will be determined. The final product of the photobioreactor (used culture media and microalgae cells) will be tested for agriculture use through lettuce (an ecological indicator) and native vegetation growth. (AU)

Matéria(s) publicada(s) na Agência FAPESP sobre o auxílio:
Scientists debate biofuel and biorefinery technologies  
Algae sequester carbon and develop biomolecules  
Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
Transformed microalgae  

Scientific publications (9)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CHIA, MATHIAS AHII; LOMBARDI, ANA TERESA; MELAO, MARIA DA GRACA G.; PARRISH, CHRISTOPHER C. Phosphorus levels determine changes in growth and biochemical composition of Chlorella vulgaris during cadmium stress. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYCOLOGY, v. 29, n. 4, p. 1883-1891, AUG 2017. Web of Science Citations: 5.
MARCHELLO, ADRIANO E.; LOMBARDI, ANA T.; DELLAMANO-OLIVEIRA, MARIA JOSE; DE SOUZA, CLOVIS W. O. Microalgae population dynamics in photobioreactors with secondary sewage effluent as culture medium. Brazilian Journal of Microbiology, v. 46, n. 1, p. 75-84, MAY 2015. Web of Science Citations: 9.
CHIA, MATHIAS AHII; LOMBARDI, ANA TERESA; GAMA MELAO, MARIA DA GRACA; PARRISH, CHRISTOPHER C. Combined nitrogen limitation and cadmium stress stimulate total carbohydrates, lipids, protein and amino acid accumulation in Chlorella vulgaris (Trebouxiophyceae). AQUATIC TOXICOLOGY, v. 160, p. 87-95, MAR 2015. Web of Science Citations: 31.
ROCHA, G. S.; PINTO, F. H. V.; MELAO, M. G. G.; LOMBARDI, A. T. Growing Scenedesmus quadricauda in used culture media: is it viable?. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYCOLOGY, v. 27, n. 1, p. 171-178, FEB 2015. Web of Science Citations: 13.
SOUZA, J. P.; MELO, D. C.; LOMBARDI, A. T.; MELAO, M. G. G. Effects of dietborne cadmium on life history and secondary production of a tropical freshwater cladoceran. ECOTOXICOLOGY, v. 23, n. 9, p. 1764-1773, NOV 2014. Web of Science Citations: 4.
CHIA, MATHIAS A.; LOMBARDI, ANA T.; MELAO, MARIA DA GRACA G. Growth and biochemical composition of Chlorella vulgaris in different growth media. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, v. 85, n. 4, p. 1427-1438, Out. 2013. Web of Science Citations: 23.
GUSSO-CHOUERI, P. K.; CHOUERI, R. B.; LOMBARDI, A. T.; MELAO, M. G. G. Effects of Dietary Copper on Life-History Traits of a Tropical Freshwater Cladoceran. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, v. 62, n. 4, p. 589-598, MAY 2012. Web of Science Citations: 5.
NOGUEIRA, P. F. M.; LOMBARDI, A. T.; NOGUEIRA, M. M. Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii exudate-Cu complexes: impact on copper dynamics and bioavailability in an aquatic food chain. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, v. 19, n. 4, SI, p. 1245-1251, MAY 2012. Web of Science Citations: 1.
TONIETTO, ALESSANDRA E.; LOMBARDI, ANA TERESA; VIEIRA, ARMANDO A. H. The Effects of Solar Irradiation on Copper Speciation and Organic Complexation. Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society, v. 22, n. 9, p. 1695-1700, SEP 2011. Web of Science Citations: 6.

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