Viability of Using Flue Gases as Carbon Source for Microalgae Cultivation (Pages: 13-19)

Giovana O. Fistarol1,2, Matheus Farias1 and Paulo S. Salomon1,2

1Marine Biotechnology Center, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Muelle de Taliarte s/n, 135214, Gran Canaria, Spain and 2Laboratório de Sistemas Avançados de Gestão da Produção (SAGE), andMarine BiologyDepartment, InstituteofBiology, Federal Universityof Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), CEP 21941-902, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Abstract: Current rates of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere are causing severe impacts on the planet. To reduce, or at least stabilize, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere technological solutions will be needed, such as enhancing biological C-fixation, thus capturing and storing CO2. Following this premise, the capture of carbon content in flue gas emissions (one important anthropogenic source of CO2) would contribute to the decrease of this gas in the atmosphere. In this study we have tested the potential of microalgae to use CO2 from flue gas as source of carbon to produce biomass. We evaluated the growth of four microalgal cultures during direct injection of flue gas. We used both freshwater and marine microalgal cultures. We observed that the four microalgae tested were able to grow using this source of carbon, and that although pH of the cultures decreased in the first hour of flue gas addition, it did not reach inhibitory growth levels. These results show the potential of utilizing this kind of technology to both reduce CO2 emissions, and, at the same time, to produce green biomass with many biotechnological applications. Besides, the use of flue gas as source of carbon makes the whole cultivation process cheaper, contributing to the development of viable, sustainable culturing techniques to the production of microalgae biomass.

Keywords: Flue gas, Microalgae cultivation, CO2 Capture, Greenhouse gases.