Microalgae harvesting is a labor- and energy-intensive process and new approaches to harvesting microalgae need to be developed in order to decrease the costs. In this study; co-cultivatation of filamentous fungus (Aspergillus niger) and microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris) to form cell pellets was evaluated under different conditions, including organic carbon source (glucose; glycerol; and sodium acetate) concentration; initial concentration of fungal spores and microalgal cells and light. Results showed that 2 g/L of glucose with a 1:300 ratio of fungi to microalgae provided the best culturing conditions for the process to reach >90% of cell harvest efficiency. The results also showed that an organic carbon source was required to sustain the growth of fungi and form the cell pellets. The microalgae/fungi co-cultures at mixotrophic conditions obtained much higher total biomass than pure cultures of each individual strains; indicating the symbiotic relationship between two strains. This can benefit the microbial biofuel production in terms of cell harvest and biomass production.
- Filamentous fungi
- Microalgae harvest