The consequences of the addition of CO2 (1%) in cultures of S. platensis are examined in terms of biomass yield, cell composition and external medium composition. CO2 enrichment was tested under nitrogen saturating and nitrogen limiting conditions. Increasing CO2 levels did not cause any change in maximum growth rate while it decreased maximum biomass yield. Protein and pigments were decreased and carbohydrate increased by high CO2, but the capability to store carbohydrates was saturated. C:N ratio remained unchanged while organic carbon released to the external medium was enhanced, suggesting that organic carbon release in S. platensis is an efficient mechanism for the maintenance of the metabolic integrity, balancing the cell C:N ratio in response to environmental CO2 changes. CO2 affected the pigment content: Phycocyanin, chlorophyll and carotenoids were reduced in around 50%, but the photosynthetic parameters were slightly changed. We propose that in S. platensis CO2 could act promoting degradation of pigments synthetised in excess in normal CO2 conditions, that are not necessary for light harvesting. Nitrogen assimilation was significantly not affected by CO2, and it is proposed that the inability to stimulate N assimilation by CO2 enrichment determined the lack of response in maximum growth rate.