Environmental and nutrient conditions influence fucoxanthin productivity of the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum grown on palm oil mill effluent

Muhamad Maulana Azimatun Nur & W. Muizelaar & P. Boelen & A. G. J. Buma

Palm oil mill effluent (POME) is a type of wastewater posing large problems when discharged in the environment. Yet, due to its
high nutrient content, POME may offer opportunities for algal growth and subsequent harvesting of high-value products. The
marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum is a potential feedstock diatom for bioactive compounds such as the carotenoid
fucoxanthin, which has been shown to have pharmaceutical applications. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the growth and
fucoxanthin productivity of P. tricornutum grown on POME, as a function of light intensity, temperature, salinity, and nutrient
enrichment. High-saturating irradiance (300 μmol photonsm−2 s−1) levels at 25 °C showed highest growth rates but decreased the
fucoxanthin productivity of P. tricornutum. Box-Behnken response surface methodology revealed that the optimum fucoxanthin
productivity was influenced by temperature, salinity, and the addition of urea. Nutrient enrichment by phosphorus did not
enhance cell density and fucoxanthin productivity, while urea addition was found to stimulate both. We conclude that POME
wastewater, supplemented with urea, can be considered as the potential medium for P. tricornutum to replace commercial
nutrients while producing high amounts of fucoxanthin.

Keywords POME wastewater . Light intensity . Temperature . Fucoxanthin . Phaeodactylum tricornutum

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