Life cycle assessment of hetero- and phototrophic as well as combined cultivations of Galdieria sulphuraria

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Microalgae cultivation for food purposes could have high environmental impacts. The study performed life cycle assessment (LCA) of hypothetical model combining phototrophic and heterotrophic cultivations, exchanging produced gases (carbon dioxide from heterotrophic and oxygen from autotrophic) as a potential strategy to reduce the environmental impact of microalgae cultivation. The LCA indicated that the production of Galdieria sulphuraria in a combined cultivation system has environmental benefits compared with the separate phototrophic cultivation and an almost twice lower carbon footprint than phototrophic cultivation. The benefits are based on the lower volume of culture broth and consequently reduced energy demand as well as less demanding wastewater treatment of the heterotrophic cultivation. Such combination of cultivation activities could be recommended to the producers dealing with phototrophic cultivation as a sustainable strategy for the environmental impact reduction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125227
JournalBioresource Technology
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.09.2021

Bibliographical note

The authors acknowledge the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for providing funding within the Era-Net Cofund “FACCE SURPLUS” Program (Project UpWaste 031B0934B).

    Research areas

  • Bioeconomy, Biomass, Carbon dioxide exchange, Environmental impact, Oxygen exchange
  • Biology