Fucoxanthin production from Tisochrysis lutea and Phaeodactylum
tricornutum at industrial scale
Fucoxanthin is a xanthophyll carotenoid with high market value.
Currently, seaweeds are the primary feedstock for fucoxanthin industrial
production. However, marine microalgae reach 5 to 10 times higher
concentrations (2.24 to 26.6 mg g-1 DW), and are considered a promising
source. In this work, two marine microalgae were produced at industrial
scale to evaluate biomass and fucoxanthin production; Phaeodactylum
tricornutum for autumn/winter and Tisochrysis lutea for spring/summer.
Both strains were grown in 15 m3 tubular flow-through photobioreactors,
for 170 consecutive days, in semi-continuous cultivation regime. The
average volumetric biomass productivities of P. tricornutum and T. lutea
were 0.11 and 0.09 g DW L-1 day-1. P. tricornutum reached higher maximum
biomass concentration (2.87 g DW L-1) than T. lutea (1.47 g DW L-1).
This is the first work in literature reporting a long-term industrial
production of T. lutea. P. tricornutum fucoxanthin content ranged
between 0.2 and 0.7 % DW, while T. lutea between 0.2 and 0.6 % DW. The
fucoxanthin content was correlated with the irradiation (MJ m-2) and the
biomass concentration in the photobioreactor (g L-1). Overall, this work
shows possible scenarios for fucoxanthin production from microalgae,
increasing the window to supply the industry with steady production
throughout the year.