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Cultivation of Spirulina maxima using alternative sources of nutrients for the biocompounds production: pigments, carbohydrates and biochar

Grant number: 19/06352-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2019
Effective date (End): May 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Daniela Helena Pelegrine Guimarães
Grantee:Lucas Ioran Marciano
Home Institution: Escola de Engenharia de Lorena (EEL). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Lorena , SP, Brazil


Among the new alternatives of energy sources, microalgae and cyanobacteria, microorganisms that grow rapidly in the aquatic environment, has the characteristic to accumulate biocompounds wit can be converted into biofuels and produce value-added biocompounds. Specifically, the cyanobacterium Spirulina maxima synthesizes pigments such as chlorophyll, phycocyanin and carotenoids, in addition to accumulating significant amounts of carbohydrates and proteins. However, the cultivation stage remains costly because the cultivation medium requires a large amount of nutrients, with a high cost of production on an industrial scale. An alternative currently considered to reduce the overall cost of biomass production is the adoption of alternative sources of nitrogen, phosphorus or carbon (essential macronutrients to cell growth), either by lower cost reagents or by using effluents containing nitrogenous compounds, phosphate compounds or containing organic material. In this context, the present project aims to study the cultivation of S. maxima with different nitrogen and carbon sources, and to analyze the effect on biocompounds production with their inclusion in the concept of biorefinery. For this purpose, the cultures of S. maxima in modified Zarrouk medium using urea, sodium acetate and glycerol will be carried out, which will be analyzed in terms of productivity in dry mass, carbohydrates, phycocyanin and biochar. It is highly expected to obtain an optimal cultivation condition for the sustainable bioproducts production. This project also aims to develop the sustainable collection of bioproducts of industrial interest from the research group at Laboratory of Microalgae Engineering (LEM) at the Engineering School of Lorena (EEL-USP) integrating two projects financed by FAPESP (16 / 23416-6 and 16 / 18909- 3).

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