Effect of light cycles (night/day) on CO2 fixation and biomass production by microalgae in photobioreactors
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of the photoperiod on the biomass production and carbon dioxide fixation rates using a photosynthetic culture of the cyanobacterium Aphanothece microscopica Nägeli in bubble column photobioreactors. The cultures were carried out at temperatures of 35 °C, air enriched with carbon dioxide at concentrations of 15% and photon flux density of 150 μmol m−2 s−1. The light cycles evaluated were 0:24, 2:22, 4:20, 6:18, 8:16, 10:14, 12:12, 14:10, 16:8, 18:6, 20:4, 22:2 and 24:0 (night:day), respectively. The results obtained indicated that the duration of the light periods was a determinant factor in the performance of the photobioreactors. A linear reduction in biomass production and carbon dioxide fixation with reductions in the duration of the light period was evident, with the exception of the 12:12 (night:day) cycles. Reductions of up to 99.69% in the carbon-fixation rates as compared with cultures under continuous illumination were obtained.