Utilization of inland saline water for Spirulina cultivation

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An attempt was made to assess the suitability of the inland saline water of Rohtak (Haryana) for mass cultivation of Spirulina platensis, a salt loving cyanobacterium. Cultivation of S. platensis was performed in indoor and outdoor culture units. The investigation revealed that the yield of biomass in de-calcified inland saline water was comparable to the yield obtained in synthetic chemical-based prescribed growth medium. Further, the quality of biomass in terms of protein, chlorophyll a, carotenoids and phycocyanin contents was also comparable to the prescribed medium. The downstream processing of the biomass through a three-step process resulted in an appreciable quantity of a highly valuable pigment, phycocyanin (purity ratio: A620/A280 = 3.13–3.39). The overall observations of the study suggest that inland saline water can be used for cost-effective production of Spirulina biomass and value-added chemicals. The removal of calcium and salts from inland saline water by S. platensis cultivation also offers an added advantage for the reuse of the spent medium for agricultural and aquacultural purposes.

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