Algae Species for CO2 Capture

Several species of algae have been tested under CO2 concentrations of over 15%. For example, Chlorococcum littorale could grow under 60% CO2 using the stepwise adaptation technique (Kodama et al., 1994).

Another high CO2 tolerant species is Euglena gracilis. Growth of Euglena gracilis was enhanced under 5-45 % concentration of CO2.

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Peer reviewed research articles

  • Enhanced algal CO2 sequestration  through calcite deposition by Chlorella sp. and Spirulina platensis in a mini-raceway pond (Ramanan et al., 2010) Read More
  • Characterization of photosynthetic  carbon dioxide fixation ability of indigenous Scenedesmus obliquus isolates (Ho et al., 2010) Read More
  • Bio-mitigation of CO2, calcite  formation and simultaneous biodiesel precursors production using Chlorella sp. (Fulke et al., 2010) Read More

    Moreclick here

The best growth was observed with 5% CO2 concentration. However, the species did not grow under greater than 45% CO2 (Nakano et al., 1996). Hirata et al. (1996a; 1996b) reported that Chlorella sp. UK001 could grow successfully under 10% CO2 conditions. It is also reported that Chlorella sp. can be grown under 40% CO2 conditions (Hanagata et al., 1992).

 Furthermore, Maeda et al (1995) found a strain of Chlorella sp. T-1 which could grow under 100% CO2, although the maximum growth rate occurred under a 10% concentration. Scenedesmus sp. could grow under 80% CO2 conditions but the maximum cell mass was observed in 10-20% CO2 concentrations (Hanagata et al., 1992).
Chlorella sp.

Cyanidium caldarium (Seckbach et al., 1971) and some other species of Cyanidium can grow in pure CO2 (Graham and Wilcox, 2000). The table below summarizes the CO2 tolerance of various species. Note that some species may tolerate even higher carbon dioxide concentrations than listed in the table. Overall, a number of high CO2 tolerant species  have been identified.

Cyanidium sp.


Known maximum CO2 concentration


Cyanidium celdanum


Seckbach et al. 1971

Scenedesmus sp.


Hanagta et al. 1992

Chlorococcum littorale


Kodama et al. 1993

Synechococcus elongates


Miyairi 1997

Euglena gracilis


Nakano et al., 1996

Chlorella sp.


Hanagta et al. 1992

Eudorine spp.


Hanagta et al. 1992

Dunaliella tertiolecta


Nagase et al., 1998

Nannochloris sp.


Yoshihara et al., 1996

Chlamydomonas sp.


Miura et al., 1993

Tetroselmis sp.


Matsumoto et al., 1995

Source: Mark E. Huntley (University of Hawaii) and Donald G. Redalje (University of Southern Mississippi)