Nannochloropsis production metrics in a scalable outdoor photobioreactor for commercial applications

Jason C. Quinn, Tracy Yates, Nathaniel Douglas, Kristina Weyer, Joel Butler, Thomas H. Bradley, Peter J. Lammers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Commercial production of renewable energy feedstocks from microalgae will require reliable and scalable growth systems. Two and one half years of biomass and lipid productivity data were obtained with an industrial-scale outdoor photobioreactor operated in Fort Collins, Colorado (USA). The annualized volumetric growth rates for Nannochloropsis oculata (CCMP 525) and Nannochloropsis salina (CCMP 1776) were 0.16gL -1d -1 (peak=0.37gL -1d -1) and 0.15gL -1d -1 (peak=0.37gL -1d -1) respectively. The collective average lipid production was 10.7m 3ha -1yr -1 with a peak value of 36.3m 3ha -1yr -1. Results from this study are unique based on publication of biomass and corresponding lipid content combined with demonstration of energy savings realized through analysis of gas delivery requirements, water recycling from successive harvests with no effect on productivity, and culture stability through serial batch lineage data and chemotaxonomic analysis of fatty acid contents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-171
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomass
  • Lipids
  • Microalgae
  • Nannochloropsis
  • Photobioreactor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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