PRODUCTION D'HYDROCARBURES RENOUVELABLES PAR LA CULTURE DE L'ALGUE VERTE BOTRYOCOCCUS BRAUNII. ETUDE DES FACTEURS AFFECTANT LA PRODUCTION DES HYDROCARBURES
The green unicellular alga Botryococcus braunii with a hydrocarbon content as large as 75 % of the dry weight holds a good place among energy-rich biomass. It can be assumed that cultivation of this alga would afford a direct and renewable source of "solar fuel". With the object of checking this hypothesis it was planned first to test the possibilities of an industrial production of hydrocarbons by large scale cultivation of Botryococcus and then, to determine the culture conditions allowing to experiment on good grounds this cultivation at a pilot scale in order to investigate its economic feasibility. Owing to the poor knowledge about this alga only the first part of this project forms the object of our C.E. contract which implies basic studies on morphology and metabolism of Botryococcus along with preliminary research on the parameters of its culture. Our main results show exocellular localisation of hydrocarbons, possible selection of very productive strains, high hydrocarbon production during active stage of growth, substantial improvements of productivity by variation of culture conditions, and prove, indeed, that large scale cultivation of Botryococcus for industrial production of hydrocarbons can be realized. This is corroborated by the positive data obtained from the culture at a prepilot scale (6 m2) of Botryococcus, experimentated in the tubular photoreactor located at Cadarache (CEA) in collaboration with M. Gudin's team. So, at this time, it can be admitted that the objectives of our C.E. contract have been reached.
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Record Number: 1989126033801 / Last updated on: 1989-01-01