Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture; Engineering


Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Tyler Barzee


Demand for sustainable food sources has increased because of the rapid growth of the world's population.  In this study, microalgae cells of Haematococcus pluvialis were immobilized using the edible fungal strain Aspergillus awamori for potential food applications. The study investigated the impact of fungal loading, pellet geometry, and initial microalgae cell concentration on the immobilization performance and product characteristics. It was found that higher fungal loading and larger fungal pellets contributed to increased immobilization performance while increased initial microalgae concentration inhibited the process. Larger fungal pellets had decreased biomass density, which led to decreased surface concentration of immobilized microalgae but deeper penetration within the pellets. Kinetic and equilibrium models were applied to allow for process prediction and manipulation of key operational parameters allowed the product composition to be tuned to desired criteria. This study provides new insights to the fungal-assisted microalgae immobilization process and demonstrates a novel application in bioproduct customization.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This work was supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hatch-Multistate project under accession number 1018315.