Serial optimization of biomass production using microalga Nannochloris oculata and corresponding lipid biosynthesis

Sang Jin Park, Yoon E. Choi, Eun Jung Kim, Won Kun Park, Chul Woong Kim, Ji Won Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


As energy and environment have become urgent issues, there has been increasing needs to develop alternative energy source, such as microalgal bio-fuel. In this study, we investigated the growth and lipid contents of microalgae Nannochloris oculata under various environmental conditions for biodiesel production. Our results indicated that biomass productivities of N. oculata were correlated with increasing nitrogen concentrations up to 37.5 ppm. High irradiance using 230-250 μmol/m 2 led to higher biomass yields than low irradiance of 160- 180 μmol/m 2. Biomass productivities increased further by manipulating surface to volume ratio (S/V), which in turn enhanced light penetration. Finally, optimal biomass productivities (1.04 g/l day) could be achieved by the supplementation of yeast extract. Lipid contents and fatty acid profiles of N. oculata were affected by the different growth conditions. Lipid contents of N. oculata decreased as nitrogen concentration increased. Lower temperature (15 °C) resulted in higher lipid content than higher temperature (25 °C). Fatty acid profiles of N. oculata indicated that palmitic acid (C16:0) and linoleic acid (C18:2) were the two most abundant fatty acids, but the supplementation of yeast extract increased linolenic acid (C18:3) content. Our results suggested the feasibility of N. oculata for the biodiesel production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalBioprocess and Biosystems Engineering
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported by the Advanced Biomass R&D Center (ABC) of Korea Grant funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (ABC-2010-0029728).


  • Biodiesel
  • Fatty acid profiles
  • Growth conditions
  • Nannochloris oculata

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering


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