Document Type : Research Article


Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 560012, India


Use of algal biomass as a source of renewable energy and food is gaining more interests. Algal biomass finds its application in a wide range of sectors such as renewable biofuel generation, protein substitution in food industry, in cosmetics and in pharma industry. For growing algae, resources such as water, light and other nutrients including nitrogen are necessary. Nitrogen is the major resources needed for algae growth. Conventionally, this source of nitrogen used to support algal growth is from chemical fertilizers which are derived from fossil fuels. This work reports a preliminary study to quantify the algae growth parameters using Plasma activated water, which is an alternative source of nitrogen. In this study mixed algae culture and Bold’s Basal Medium was used for algae growth using 10 klx light source over a period of 6 days. Sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite and a mixture of both were used as comparative controls. Biomass yield and chlorophyll content were used as comparing parameters in this work. The chlorophyll yield of the microalgae grown in PAW was comparable to that of sodium nitrite solution indicating that PAW can be used to grow algae without using fossil fuel derived fertilizers. Biomass yield of PAW, Nitrate, Nitrite and combination were 311±58 mg/l, 227±25 mg/l, 434±94 mg/l and 362±138 mg/l respectively. These experiments provide a proof of concept evidence to support the claim that PAW can be used as a good source of nitrogen for algae growth. Copyright © VBRI Press.

Graphical Abstract

Plasma Activated Water as a Source of Nitrogen for Algae Growth