Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 112, Issue 3, pp 143–150 | Cite as

Kinetics and bioenergetics of Spirulina platensis cultivation by fed-batch addition of urea as nitrogen source

  • Carlos E. N. Sassano
  • João C. M. Carvalho
  • Luiz A. Gioielli
  • Sunao Sato
  • Paolo Torre
  • Attilio Converti
Original Articles


The cyanobacterium Spirulina platensis was cultivated in bench-scale miniponds on bicarbonate/carbonate solutions using urea as nitrogen source. To minimize limitation and inhibition phenomena, urea was supplied semicontinuously using exponentially increasing feeding rates. The average growth rates obtained alternately varying the total mass of urea added per unit reactor volume (275<m T<725 mg/L) and the total feeding time (9<t T<15 d) clearly evidenced nitrogen limitation for m T<500 mg/L and excess nitrogen inhibition above this threshold. The time behavior of the specific growth rate at variable urea feeding patterns allowed estimation of the time-dependent Gibbsenergy dissipation for cell growth under the actual depletion conditions of fed-batch cultivations. Comparison of the yield of growth on Gibbs energy obtained using either urea or KNO3 pointed to the preference of S. platensis for the former nitrogen source, likely owing to more favorable bioenergetic conditions.

Index Entries

Spirulina platensis urea fed-batch cultivation kinetics bioenergetics microalgae production 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos E. N. Sassano
    • 1
  • João C. M. Carvalho
    • 1
  • Luiz A. Gioielli
    • 1
  • Sunao Sato
    • 1
  • Paolo Torre
    • 2
  • Attilio Converti
    • 2
  1. 1.Departmento de Tecnologia Bioquímico-FarmacêuticaUniversidade de São PauloSão Paulo, SPBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Process Engineering “G.B. Bonino”University of GenoaGenoaItaly

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