Advertisement

Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 49–58 | Cite as

Numerical and experimental study on the performance of flat-plate photobioreactors with different inner structures for microalgae cultivation

  • Jianke Huang
  • Shaofeng Kang
  • Minxi Wan
  • Yuanguang Li
  • Xiaoxing Qu
  • Fei Feng
  • Jun Wang
  • Weiliang Wang
  • Guomin Shen
  • Wei Li
Article

Abstract

Three types of 15-L flat-plate photobioreactors (PBRs), namely, bubble reactor, split flat-plate airlift reactor, and central flat-plate airlift reactor, were investigated for their performance based on numerical and experimental methods. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method was used to calculate mixing and light regime characteristics parameters of PBRs. The performance of flat-plate PBRs was preliminarily evaluated according to the light–dark cycle of algal cells and fluid mixing along the light attenuation direction. The analysis showed that the optimal PBR was the split airlift type, whereas the bubble PBR was the poorest. The photoautotrophic cultivation of Chlorella pyrenoidosa was conducted to confirm the actual performance of PBRs. The result of microalgae culture experiment showed the biomass productivity in split airlift reactor was 0.018 g L−1 h−1 which was 50 and 12.5 % higher than those in bubble and central airlift PBRs, respectively. The maximum biomass concentration and specific growth rate of algal cell in split flat-plate airlift reactor were greatest, and those in bubble reactor were lowest. Therefore, the experiment results are completely consistent with those obtained through the computational approach, suggesting the numerical model combining fluid hydrodynamics with irradiation transfer as well as statistical treatment developed in this study can be applied to optimize and evaluate the performance of PBRs efficiently.

Keywords

Flat-plate photobioreactor Computational fluid dynamics Mixing Light regime characteristics Microalgae cultivation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was funded by National Basic Research Program China (973 Program: 2011CB200903), National High Technology Research and Development Program (863 Programs: 2013AA065804 and 2012AA050101), National Natural Science Foundation of China (31372548), National Key Technologies R&D Program (2011BAD14B02 and 2011BAD23B04).

References

  1. Bitog JP, Lee IB, Lee CG, Kim KS, Hwang HS, Hong SW, Seo IH, Kwon KS, Mostafa E (2011) Application of computational fluid dynamics for modeling and designing photobioreactors for microalgae production: a review. Comput Electron Agr 76:131–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bosma R, Zessen EV, Reith JH, Tramper J, Wijffels RH (2007) Prediction of volumetric productivity of an outdoor photobioreactor. Biotechnol Bioeng 97:1108–1120PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Degen J, Uebele A, Retze A, Schmid-Staiger U, Trösch W (2001) A novel airlift photobioreactor with baffles for improved light utilization through the flashing light effect. J Biotechnol 92:89–94PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Eriksen NT (2008) The technology of microalgal culturing. Biotechnol Lett 30:1525–1536PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Grobbelaar JU (1989) Do light/dark cycles of medium frequency enhance phytoplankton productivity? J Appl Phycol 1:333–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Grobbelaar JU (2009) Upper limits of photosynthetic productivity and problems of scaling. J Appl Phycol 21:519–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Grobbelaar JU, Nedbal L, Tichy V (1996) Influence of high frequency light/dark fluctuations on photosynthetic characteristics of microalgae photoacclimated to different light intensities and implications for mass algal cultivation. J Appl Phycol 8:335–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Han F, Huang J, Li Y, Wang W, Fan J, Shen G (2012) Enhancement of microalgal biomass and lipid productivities by a model of photoautotrophic culture with heterotrophic cells as seed. Bioresour Technol 118:431–437PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hu Q, Richmond A (1996) Productivity and photosynthetic efficiency of Spirulina platensis as affected by light intensity, algal density and rate of mixing in a flat plate photobioreactor. J Appl Phycol 8:139–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Janssen M, Janssen M, Winter MD, Tramper J, Mur LR, Snel J, Wijffels RH (2000) Efficiency of light utilization of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii under medium-duration light:dark cycles. J Biotechnol 78:123–137PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kunjapur AM, Eldridge RB (2010) Photobioreactor design for commercial biofuel production from microalgae. Ind Eng Chem Res 49:3516–3526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lin C, Li Y, Wang W, Shen G, Chen J, Wu H, Huang J (2009) Numerical and experimental investigation of a novel flat photobioreactor with multistage-separator. J Chem Eng Chinese Univ 23:263–269Google Scholar
  13. Luo HP, Kemouna A, Al-Dahhana MH, Sevillab JMF, Sanchez JLG, Camacho FG, Grima EM (2003) Analysis of photobioreactors for culturing high-value microalgae and cyanobacteria via an advanced diagnostic technique: CARPT. Chem Eng Sci 58:2519–2527CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Luo HP, Al-Dahhan MH (2004) Analyzing and modeling of photobioreactors by combining first principles of physiology and hydrodynamics. Biotechnol Bioeng 85:382–393PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Luo HP, Al-Dahhan MH (2011) Verification and validation of CFD simulations for local flow dynamics in a draft tube airlift bioreactor. Chem Eng Sci 66:907–923CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mata TM, Martins AA, Caetano NS (2010) Microalgae for biodiesel production and other applications: a review. Renew Sust Energ Rev 14:217–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Matthijs HCP, Balke H, VanHes UM, Kroon B, Mur LR, Binot R (1996) Application of light-emitting diodes in bioreactors: flashing light effects and energy economy in algal culture (Chlorella pyrenoidosa). Biotechnol Bioeng 50:98–107PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mirón AS, García MCC, Camacho FG, Grima EM, Chisti Y (2002) Growth and biochemical characterization of microalgal biomass produced in bubble column and airlift photobioreactors: studies in fed-batch culture. Enzy Microb Technol 31:1015–1023CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Moberg AK, Ellem GK, Jameson GJ, Herbertson JG (2012) Simulated cell trajectories in a stratified gas–liquid flow tubular photobioreactor. J Appl Phycol 24:357–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Morweiser M, Kruse O, Hankamer B, Posten C (2010) Developments and perspectives of photobioreactors for biofuel production. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 87:1291–1301PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Oncel S, Sukan FV (2008) Comparison of two different pneumatically mixed column photobioreactors for the cultivation of Arthrospira platensis (Spirulina platensis). Bioresour Technol 99:4755–4760PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Perner I, Posten C, Broneske J (2003) CFD optimization of a plate photobioreactor used for cultivation of microalgae. Eng Life Sci 3:287–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Perner-Nochta I, Posten C (2007) Simulations of light intensity variation in photobioreactors. J Biotechnol 131:276–285PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pottier L, Pruvost J, Deremetz J, Cornet JF, Legrand J, Dussap CG (2005) A fully predictive model for one-dimensional light attenuation by Chlamydomonas reinhardtii in a torus photobioreactor. Biotechnol Bioeng 91:569–582PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pruvost J, Pottier L, Legrand J (2006) Numerical investigation of hydrodynamic and mixing conditions in a torus photobioreactor. Chem Eng Sci 61:4476–4489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Quinn JC, Yates T, Douglas N, Weyer K, Butler J, Bradley TH, Lammers PJ (2012) Nannochloropsis production metrics in a scalable outdoor photobioreactor for commercial applications. Bioresour Technol 117:164–171PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Reyna-Velarde R, Cristiani-Urbina E, Hernández-Melchor DJ, Thalasso F, Cañizares-Villanueva RO (2010) Hydrodynamic and mass transfer characterization of a flat-panel airlift photobioreactor with high light path. Chem Eng Process 49:97–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sato T, Yamada D, Hirabayashi S (2010) Development of virtual photobioreactor for microalgae culture considering turbulent flow and flashing light effect. Energ Convers Manage 51:1196–1201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sierra E, Acien FG, Fernandez JM, Garcia JL, Gonzalez C, Molina E (2008) Characterization of a flat plate photobioreactor for the production of microalgae. Chem Eng J 138:136–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sorokin C, Krauss RW (1958) The effects of light intensity on the growth rates of green algae. Plant Physiol 33:109–113PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Su ZF, Kang RJ, Shi SY, Cong W, Cai ZL (2010) Study on the destabilization mixing in the flat plate photobioreactor by means of CFD. Biomass Bioenergy 34:1879–1884CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Terry KL (1986) Photosynthesis in modulated light: quantitative dependence of photosynthetic enhancement on flashing rate. Biotechnol Bioeng 28:988–995PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ugwu CU, Ogbonna JC, Tanaka H (2002) Improvement of mass transfer characteristics and productivities of inclined tubular photobioreactors by installation of internal static mixers. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 58:600–607PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ugwu CU, Ogbonna JC, Tanaka H (2005) Light/dark cyclic movement of algal culture (Synechocystis aquatilis) in outdoor inclined tubular photobioreactor equipped with static mixers for efficient production of biomass. Biotechnol Lett 27:75–78PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ugwu CU, Aoyagi H, Uchiyama H (2008) Photobioreactors for mass cultivation of algae. Bioresour Technol 99:4021–4028PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Vejrazka C, Janssen M, Streefland M, Wijffels RH (2012) Photosynthetic efficiency of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii in attenuated, flashing light. Biotechnol Bioeng 109:2567–2574PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wijffels RH, Barbosa MJ (2010) An outlook on microalgal biofuels. Science 329:796–799PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wu LB, Li Z, Song YZ (2010) Hydrodynamic conditions in designed spiral photobioreactors. Bioresour Technol 101:298–303PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Xu L, Liu R, Wang F, Liu CZ (2012) Development of a draft-tube airlift bioreactor for Botryococcus braunii with an optimized inner structure using computational fluid dynamics. Bioresour Technol 119:300–305PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Xue SZ, Su ZF, Cong W (2011) Growth of Spirulina platensis enhanced under intermittent illumination. J Biotechnol 151:271–277PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Yu G, Li Y, Shen G, Wang W, Lin C, Wu H, Chen Z (2009) A novel method using CFD to optimize the inner structure parameters of flat photobioreactors. J Appl Phycol 21:719–727CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Zhang QH, Wu X, Xue SZ, Wang ZH, Yan CH, Cong W (2013a) Hydrodynamic characteristics and microalgae cultivation in a novel flat-plate photobioreactor. Biotechnol Prog 29:127–134PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zhang QH, Wu X, Xue SZ, Liang KH, Cong W (2013b) Study of hydrodynamic characteristics in tubular photobioreactors. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 36:143–150PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianke Huang
    • 1
  • Shaofeng Kang
    • 2
  • Minxi Wan
    • 1
  • Yuanguang Li
    • 1
  • Xiaoxing Qu
    • 2
  • Fei Feng
    • 2
  • Jun Wang
    • 3
  • Weiliang Wang
    • 1
  • Guomin Shen
    • 1
  • Wei Li
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor EngineeringEast China University of Science and TechnologyShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Chemical EngineeringEast China University of Science and TechnologyShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Jiaxing Zeyuan Bio-products Co., Ltd.JiaxingPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations