Cross-study analysis of factors affecting algae cultivation in recycled medium for biofuel production


Journal Article

© 2017 Elsevier B.V. Current high costs of commercial-scale algal biofuel production prevent the widespread use of this renewable fuel source. One cost-saving approach is the reuse of algae cultivation water after biomass harvesting, which reduces water pumping and treatment costs. However, dissolved compounds, cell debris, and microorganisms remaining in the water could affect subsequent algae generations. Previous studies demonstrate a variety of effects of recycled medium on algae growth, yet their results have not been collectively analyzed. Here we integrate data across 86 studies to determine the relative importance of different factors influencing algae growth in recycled medium. We found that algae taxa can have the greatest influence, while the harvesting method is less influential on growth outcomes. This meta-analysis identifies favorable taxa and thus provides a tool for algae cultivation decision-making when medium reuse is an important driver. Results can also aid in estimating relative algae yield and growth rates for technoeconomic assessments that incorporate water recycling.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Loftus, SE; Johnson, ZI

Published Date

  • June 1, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 24 /

Start / End Page

  • 154 - 166

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2211-9264

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.algal.2017.03.007

Citation Source

  • Scopus