Spectral conversion of light for enhanced microalgae growth rates and photosynthetic pigment production

Seyedeh Fatemeh Mohsenpour, Bryce Richards, Nicholas Willoughby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of light conditions on the growth of green algae Chlorella vulgaris and cyanobacteria Gloeothece membranacea was investigated by filtering different wavelengths of visible light and comparing against a model daylight source as a control. Luminescent acrylic sheets containing violet, green, orange or red dyes illuminated by a solar simulator produced the desired wavelengths of light for this study. From the experimental results the highest specific growth rate for C.vulgaris was achieved using the orange range whereas violet light promoted the growth of G.membranacea. Red light exhibited the least efficiency in conversion of light energy into biomass in both strains of microalgae. Photosynthetic pigment formation was examined and maximum chlorophyll-a production in C.vulgaris was obtained by red light illumination. Green light yielded the best chlorophyll-a production in G.membranacea. The proposed illumination strategy offers improved microalgae growth without resorting to artificial light sources, reducing energy use and costs of cultivation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75–81
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number-
Early online date31 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Microalgae
  • solar
  • light wavelength
  • luminescent
  • photosynthetic pigments


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