specialists in production of supercritical fluids systems.

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Microalgae are utilized in aquaculture for the larval weaning of farmed fish species (gilthead, see bass, sole, tuna) for the enrichment of their diet, constituted of microcrustaceans (e.g. Brine shrimp) and/or zooplancton (e.g. rotifers), and for the farming of bivalval mollusks. In order to enrich the essential larvae for the marine species,  the tendency is to stimulate the natural cycle utilizing algal species such as Chlorella salina, Chaetoceros calcitrans, Nannochloropsis oculata, Isochrysis galbana. The tests run by fish farms all over the world and the numerous application in aquaculture verified how diets rich in these algal species bring a considerable enrichment in PUFAs (PolyUnsaturated Fatty Acids), first of all in Brine shrimp and in rotifers, which are the main nutritive elements in the ichthyic food chain. The experimentations conducted by Exenia Group S.r.l. On Nannochloropsis oculata aimed to develop PUFAs production, showed that in the medium utilized for the culture of this micro organism, increased in nitrates, phosphates, with low salinity and temperature, the EPA content is directly increased in the photosynthetic micro organism, up to 3% of the dry weight. In other experiments, parameters such as  phosphates, nitrates, salinity, temperature and amount of CO2, in order to understand their influence on the growth of the photosynthetic cells and their EPA production. Along with these studies, which consider Nannochloropsis oculata an important source of EPA and define its potential to increase their PUFAs production acting on factors like growth media, light, temperature and CO2 administration, it was prosecuted as follows:

  • Characterization, through the literature data, of the main micro organisms suitable to be a PUFAs source, resulting interesting for the project;
  • Targeting of the cultivation methods among those available in the literature: culture media, light type, CO2 administration, temperature;
  • Lab cultivation tests and individuation of the best cultivation method optimizing the operational conditions (culture media composition, light type, CO2 amount);
  • Individuation of the best photobioreactor's configuration.

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