High-EPA Biomass from Nannochloropsis salina Cultivated in a Flat-Panel Photo-Bioreactor on a Process Water-Enriched Growth Medium

Hamed Safafar, Michael Z. Hass, Per Møller, Susan Løvstad Holdt, Charlotte Jacobsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

722 Downloads (Pure)


Nannochloropsis salina was grown on a mixture of standard growth media and pre-gasified industrial process water representing effluent from a local biogas plant. The study aimed to investigate the effects of enriched growth media and cultivation time on nutritional composition of Nannochloropsis salina biomass, with a focus on eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Variations in fatty acid composition, lipids, protein, amino acids, tocopherols and pigments were studied and results compared to algae cultivated on F/2 media as reference. Mixed growth media and process water enhanced the nutritional quality of Nannochloropsis salina in laboratory scale when compared to algae cultivated in standard F/2 medium. Data from laboratory scale translated to the large scaleusing a 4000 L flat panel photo-bioreactor system. The algae growth rate in winter conditions in Denmark was slow, but results revealed that large-scale cultivation of Nannochloropsis salina at these conditions could improve the nutritional properties such as EPA, tocopherol, protein and carotenoids compared to laboratory-scale cultivated microalgae. EPA reached 44.2% ± 2.30% of total fatty acids, and α-tocopherol reached 431 ± 28 µg/g of biomass dry weight after 21 days of cultivation. Variations in chemical compositions of Nannochloropsis salina were studied during the course of cultivation. Nannochloropsis salina can be presented as a good candidate for winter time cultivation in Denmark.The resulting biomass is a rich source of EPA and also a good source of protein (amino acids), tocopherols and carotenoids for potential use in aquaculture feed industry.
Original languageEnglish
Article number144
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number8
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


  • EPA
  • Nannochloropsis salina
  • Industrial process water
  • Microalgae
  • Carotenoids
  • Amino acid
  • Tocopherol
  • Large scale
  • Flat panel photo-bioreactor


Dive into the research topics of 'High-EPA Biomass from Nannochloropsis salina Cultivated in a Flat-Panel Photo-Bioreactor on a Process Water-Enriched Growth Medium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this