Improvement of photoautotrophic algal biomass production after interrupted co2 supply by urea and kh2 po4 injection

Byung Sun Yu, Young Joon Sung, Min Eui Hong, Sang Jun Sim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Microalgae-derived biomass is currently considered a sustainable feedstock for making biofuels, including biodiesel and direct combustion fuel. The photoautotrophic cultivation of microal-gae using flue gas from power plants has been continuously investigated to improve the economic feasibility of microalgae processes. The utilization of waste CO2 from power plants is advantageous in reducing carbon footprints and the cost of carbon sources. Nonetheless, the sudden interruption of CO2 supply during microalgal cultivation leads to a severe reduction in biomass productivity. Herein, chemical fertilizers including urea and KH2 PO4 were added to the culture medium when CO2 supply was halted. Urea (5 mM) and KH2 PO4 (5 mM) were present in the culture medium in the form of CO2 /NH4+ and K+ /H2 PO4, respectively, preventing cell growth inhibition. The culture with urea and KH2 PO4 supplementation exhibited 10.02-fold higher and 7.28-fold higher biomass and lipid productivity, respectively, compared to the culture with ambient CO2 supply due to the maintenance of a stable pH and dissolved inorganic carbon in the medium. In the mass cultivation of microalgae using flue gas from coal-fired power plants, urea and KH2 PO4 were supplied while the flue gas supply was shut off. Consequently, the microalgae were grown successfully without cell death.

Original languageEnglish
Article number778
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb 1


  • Coal-fired flue gas
  • KH PO
  • Microalgae
  • Photoautotrophic biomass production
  • Urea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Fuel Technology
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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