chapter  15
34 Pages

Physiological principles and modes of cultivation in mass production of photoautotrophic microalgae

The idea to grow microalgae as a source of biomass for various economic purposes originated some 70 years ago, with the realization that certain algal species such as Chlorella proliferate vary rapidly (Warburg, 1919). Development of the biotechnology involved in mass production of microalgae gathered impetus in Germany, the USA and Japan after the Second World War. Support to this research was provided (in the early 1970s) by reports of the United Nations Advisory Committee on International Action to Avert an Impending Protein Crisis (1967) which foresaw a sharp shortage in food commodities, particularly protein, towards the end of the century and recommended that non-conventional crops such as photoautotrophic microorganisms should be considered as a source of feed and food for a rapidly expanding humanity.