• Arthrospira platensis;
  • Carbon dioxide;
  • Continuous process;
  • Photobioreactor;
  • Photosynthetic efficiency


Similar to other photosynthetic microorganisms, the cyanobacterium Arthrospira platensis can be used to produce pigments, single cell proteins, fatty acids (which can be used for bioenergy), food and feed supplements, and biofixation of CO2. Cultivation in a specifically designed tubular photobioreactor is suitable for photosynthetic biomass production, because the cultivation area can be reduced by distributing the microbial cells vertically, thus avoiding loss of ammonia and CO2. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of light intensity and dilution rate on the photosynthetic efficiency and CO2 assimilation efficiency of A. platensis cultured in a tubular photobioreactor in a continuous process. Urea was used as a nitrogen source and CO2 as carbon source and for pH control. Steady-state conditions were achieved in most of the runs, indicating that continuous cultivation of this cyanobacterium in a tubular photobioreactor could be an interesting alternative for the large-scale fixation of CO2 to mitigate the greenhouse effect while producing high protein content biomass.