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This study aimed to provide a cost effective medium to large scale production of Spirulina platensis. This intention was implemented
by substituting all the nutrients present in Zarrouk’s medium (SM) with cheaper and locally available commercial fertilizers and
chemicals. The reduced cost medium contained single super phosphate (SSP), commercial sodium bicarbonate, muriate of potash
(MOP) and crude sea-salt, (Syahat salt). Four grades of nitrogen concentrations representing 10, 20, 30 and 40% of SM nitrogen
concentration (29.42 mM-N) were taken from ammonium nitrate (Treatments 1-4) or urea (Treatments 5-8) respectively, for testing.
The alga was grown for 33 days at 30±2 ºC, pH 9, 30 μEm2s-1 irradiance. The growth characteristics (maximum biomass Xm, cell
productivity Px, specific growth rate μm and chlorophyll concentration) and biochemical composition (proteins, carbohydrates and
lipids) of the alga grown in these media were compared with that cultivated in SM. Significant differences in the growth parameters
and biochemical composition were observed for the different nitrogen sources and concentrations. The results revealed that S.
platensis could utilize ammonium nitrate most efficiently and that growth was enhanced with increasing the concentrations of
ammonium nitrate giving maximum biomass at 0.353 g/L (Treatment 3). Further increasing the concentration limited growth. The
growth parameters in urea showed a significant decrease associated with increasing urea concentrations. The maximum biomass,
chlorophyll and protein yield (0.813±0.018 mg/L, 0.0685±0.0024 μg/L and 52.62%, respectively) were recorded using Treatment
3 which was comparable with that of SM (0.840±0.008 mg/L, 0.0701±0.0089 μg/L and 52.95%, respectively). The results indicated
that the newly prepared medium can be used profitably for large-scale mass production of protein-rich Spirulina and yields similar
performance with cost effective to Zarrouk’s medium.
Abdel-Wahab Kamel is expert in microalgae mass production at the Marine Invertebrates Lab, Aquaculture Division of the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF). He has thirty years in experience in economic culture media, low cost technique with reduced production cost of different microalgae species. He has earned his B.Sc. degree in 1974 in Agriculture Science, El-Mansoura University; M.Sc., 1985, in the field of Aquatic Plant, El-Zagazig University, and the Ph.D., 1991, on Phytoplankton, El-Zagazig University. He participated as PI, team leader, in national project under the title (The Development Methods of Mass Production of Natural Food, Phytoplankton), funded from NIOF 2015-2016.