Biological determinants of photobioreactor design. Final report, September 1, 1993--August 31, 1995 Page: 4 of 49
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DoE Final Report
Microalgae is being considered for the capture and sequestration
of CO2 from power-plant flue-gases. High productivity of microalgae
is necessary to make this process cost effective compared to the
conventional methods used for reducing CO2 levels in the
atmosphere. This obviates the need for large-scale cultivation
technologies and proper photobioreactor technology. The physical
factors that influence the performance of a photoautotrophic
microalgal culture are the quality and composition of light, inlet
carbon dioxide concentration, nutrients, and secondary metabolites at
high cell densities. In developing photobioreactor technology,
balancing of biological processes to the physical rate process becomes
important. The effect of various light compositions on the culture
kinetics was studied. To determine the optimal composition, six
wavelengths 470, 555, 560, 570, 580 and 605 nm, each
supplemented with 680 nm of red light, were used to cultivate
cultures. Based on the results obtained, it is concluded that a
monochromatic red light of 680 nm is sufficient to obtain maximum
The intake rates of CO2 were also investigated using 680 nm red
light. Inlet CO2 and 02 concentration was varied and the growth
kinetics were studied. It was found that 1% CO2 concentration is
sufficient to support growth of cells up to a concentration of 1 x 108
cells/mL in flask cultures. This experiment was repeated and the
results were found to be consistent.
Proper mixing is very important for achieving high concentration
photosynthetic cultures. A good mixing can keep the cells in
suspension, eliminate thermal stratification, help nutrient
distribution, and improve gas exchange. We have tested
photobioreactors of various configurations and found a PBR with a
vertical rectangular slab-shaped illumination chamber to be the best.
This shape meets all the criteria of a successful photobioreactor and
can support Chlorella vulgaris up to 108 cells/mL.
August 7, 1995
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Palsson, B. & Brown, G.G. Biological determinants of photobioreactor design. Final report, September 1, 1993--August 31, 1995, report, April 1, 1997; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc680932/m1/4/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.