What are the benefits of LED lighting in microalgae cultivation? | - CCMAR -

What are the benefits of LED lighting in microalgae cultivation?


The demand for microalgal biomass has been increasing over the years and with it the necessity to increase their productivity. The use of LED lighting in the production of microalgae increases the growth of their biomass, especially during the night.

This study was carried out by our researchers in collaboration with Greencolab, Necton and Allmicroalgae.


Increasing demand for microalgae biomass has led to a search for new methods to increase their production
With the increasing demand for microalgal biomass for health, cosmetics and food applications, the microalgae production facilities have been studying ways to increase their production and the growth process efficiency. Until recently, microalgae were produced in open production systems. However, although this method is cheaper, it also has more disadvantages, one of them being poor light distribution. 

To address this problem, our researchers Inês Maia, Tamára Santos and João Varela in collaboration with Greencolab, Necton and Allmicroalgae studied the impact and costs of integrating LED in outdoor raceway ponds.


Biomass growth with the presence of LEDs can contribute to the production of microalgae at an industrial scale 
The researchers found that the use of LEDs in cultures of the microalgae Nannochloropsis oceanica increased biomass growth, especially during the night. In addition, they found that the protein and carbohydrate content also increased in the cultures that were under LED exposure. This research presents the possibility to optimize the process of microalgae production at an industrial scale.

However, the incorporation of this type of light should be mainly considered, especially in the production of high-value products, since it represents an additional cost in the production of biomass.


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