A simplified strategy for the ralease and primary racovery of c-phycocyanin produced by spirulina maxima Academic Article in Scopus uri icon


  • A simplified strategy for the potential production, release and primary recovery of c-phycocyanin from Spirulina maxima in one single unit operation, is discussed. The strategy exploited the use of a bioreactor loaded with solids (e.g. glass beads) and operated under define conditions as an attractive alternative to mimic a high speed bead mill. Selected operating quantities (e.g. glass beads diameter and loading, speed of agitation, CaCl2, and biomass concentration) were evaluated to define the appropriate conditions for cell disruption. Once fermentation is terminated cell disruption was performed after broth conditioning, primary recovery of the protein was achieved simultaneously, using aqueous two-phase extraction. The addition of the chemical forming phases (phosphate and poly ethylene glycol (PEG)) directly to the fermentation device allowed the in situ recovery of c-phycocyanin. The operating conditions established for the cell disruption step (i.e. glass beads of 0.8 - 1.0 mm diameter, speed agitation of 1,500 rpm, beads loading of l = 38 %, 10 g L-1 CaCl2 and a 12 g L-1 biomass concentration), together with those of the ATPS extraction (i.e. w = 7 % of PEG 1450 and w = 20 % phosphate), resulted in one-stage process for the potential recovery of c-phycocyanin (with a purity of 1.7, defined as the relation of 620 nm to 280 nm absorbances) from Spirulina maxima. Such primary recovery step can be further used for the development of a prototype purification process as a first step for the commercial production of c-phycocyanin produced by Spirulina maxima.

Publication date

  • December 1, 2004