Background: Microalgae have been identified as potential biodiesel feedstock because of their high
lipid and biomass productivity. The present work was aimed to the mass culture of microalgae in a
shallow pond and circular tank under open-air condition and to determine the productivity of biomass,
lipid, and fatty acid methyl esters.
Methods: Chlorella vulgaris (GenBank: KF937218.1) isolated from the offshore water of
Visakhapatnam along the East coast of India and Platymonas convolutae obtained from CMFRI, India,
were mass cultured in a shallow pond and circular tank under open-air conditions. Outdoor mass
cultivation was carried out for both the species in shallow pond and circular tank. The daily
productivity and growth kinetics were calculated.
Results: C. vulgaris had the highest biomass concentration (0.98 g l-1) with 21% of the lipid content in the circular tank
culture. The maximum aerial productivities of 42 g m2 d-1 and 32.1 g m2 d-1 were recorded for C. vulgaris and P.
convolutae, respectively. Fatty acid profiles showed the presence of C14:0, C16:0, C16:1, C18:0, C18:1, C18:2, and
C18:3. FAME yield determined via different extraction methods was also reported.
Conclusion: The results suggest that the coastal area of Visakhapatnam is a feasible location for the production of biomass
via large-scale mass culture in an open-air shallow pond. Fatty acid profile showed the feasibility production of biodiesel.