Energy-efficient cultivation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii for lipid accumulation under flashing illumination conditions

Chul Woong Kim, Myounghoon Moon, Won Kun Park, Gursong Yoo, Yoon E. Choi, Ji Won Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Microalgal cultivation has been limited by the efficiency and costs associated with providing light energy, the most expensive and essential element needed for microalgal growth to a culture, particularly to cultures grown in a photo bioreactor (PBR). This study examined the economic benefits of using flashing illumination conditions in the context of microalgal cultivation. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was cultivated under various conditions, including various inoculum sizes, light intensities, and durations of the light and dark periods. Our results showed that the highest microalgal growth efficiencies could be obtained using a large inoculum size under high intensity illumination accompanied by a 1:1 ratio of light and dark periods. The duration of the flashing light period was further optimized; permitting light energy savings of 62.5% of the light energy expended under continuous illumination conditions without reducing the biomass or lipid productivity. This study provides a more economical approach to cultivating C. reinhardtii via optimized flashing illumination without sacrificing microalgal growth or lipid content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-158
Number of pages9
JournalBiotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • biodiesel
  • economical feasibility
  • flashing illumination
  • microalgae
  • photobioreactor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering


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