Photosynthetic CO2 uptake by microalgae: An attractive tool for biogas upgrading

L. Meier, R. Pérez, L. Azócar, M. Rivas, D. Jeison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


The use of photosynthetic CO2 reduction capacity of microalgae can be used for biogas upgrading. Such process would convert CO2 contained in the biogas into microalgal biomass, generating two products: upgraded biogas and biomass. Growth rate of Nannochloropsis gaditana was determined in atmospheres containing different levels of CH4 and CO2. Results showed no effect of CH4 rich atmosphere over microalgal development. CO2 inhibition was observed only when microalgae culture was exposed to atmospheres containing 9% of CO2. Direct contact of the biogas and the microalgal culture is not a feasible way to upgrade biogas, due to oxygen desorption to the gas phase. A two-stage process, involving a photobioreactor connected with a gas/liquid mass transfer unit showed to be an efficient way to remove CO2 from the biogas, keeping low levels of oxygen in the upgraded biogas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-109
Number of pages8
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Biogas upgrading
  • CO uptake
  • Methane
  • Microalgae
  • Nannochloropsis gaditana
  • Photobioreactor


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