Fatty acid production from a highly CO2 tolerant alga, Chlorocuccum littorale, in the presence of inorganic carbon and nitrate

Masaki Ota, Yoshitaka Kato, Hiromoto Watanabe, Masaru Watanabe, Yoshiyuki Sato, Richard L. Smith, Hiroshi Inomata

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95 Citations (Scopus)


Photoautotrophic fatty acid production of a highly CO2-tolerant green alga Chlorococcum littorale was investigated in the presence of inorganic carbon and nitrate at 295 K and a light intensity of 170 μmol-photon m-2 s-1. CO2 concentration in the bubbling gas was adjusted by mixing pure gas components of CO2 and N2 to avoid photorespiration and β-oxidation of fatty acids under O2 atmosphere conditions. Fatty acid content was almost constant for the CO2 concentrations ranging from 5% to 50% under nitrate-rich conditions corresponding to the logarithmic growth phase. After nitrate depletion, the content drastically increased with a decrease in CO2 concentration. HCO3- / CO2 ratio in the culture media was found to be a controlling factor for fatty acid production after the nitrate limitation phase. For a CO2 concentration of 5%, the fatty acid content was ca. 34 wt.% at maximum, which is comparable with other land plant seed oils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5237-5242
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Nov 1


  • Algal oil
  • Biofuels
  • Biomass
  • CO
  • Microalgae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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