Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 1099–1105 | Cite as

Mutual influence of light and CO2 on carbon sequestration via cultivating mixotrophic alga Auxenochlorella protothecoides UMN280 in an organic carbon-rich wastewater

  • Min Min
  • Bing Hu
  • Wenguang Zhou
  • Yecong Li
  • Paul Chen
  • Roger Ruan


This study focusses on the assimilation of carbon in concentrated municipal wastewater rich in organic carbon using the mixotrophic microalga Auxenochlorella protothecoides UMN280 with the addition of supplemental CO2. The entire growth period of A. protothecoides UMN280 can be characterized by three phases: first, a phase where algae grew in a mixotrophic-dominated mode; second, a transition phase; and last, a phase where algae grew in a photoautotrophic-dominated mode. In this study, it was found that light intensity had a strong effect on algal biomass production; the culture system would transfer from a mixotrophic-dominated mode to a photoautotrophic-dominated mode quicker under higher light intensities. The addition of CO2 exhibited an important role in the photoautotrophic-dominated cultivation stage. At certain level of irradiance and certain range of CO2 injection rate, higher CO2 injection rate would result in a higher level of carbon fixation. It is clearly beneficial to inject exogenous CO2 in the mixotrophic wastewater algae production system when a light source is available, such as during daylight hours.


Carbon sequestration Mixotrophic Wastewater treatment 



The authors are grateful to the funding agents that include the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR), University of Minnesota Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (IREE), and the Center for Biorefining at the University of Minnesota.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Min Min
    • 1
  • Bing Hu
    • 1
  • Wenguang Zhou
    • 1
  • Yecong Li
    • 1
  • Paul Chen
    • 1
  • Roger Ruan
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Biorefining and Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering DepartmentUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA

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