Reliable production of microalgae biomass using a novel microalgae platform
A microalgae platform, consisting of four photobioreactor units incorporating a novel biomimetic design, has been installed at the Biosolar Center in Koethen, Germany. The novel photobioreactor consists of a flexible, tubular double-wall hose system (silicone based) with integrated temperature control in a closed cycle. The modular-arranged platform system (total cultivation volume 1700 L) has been designed for stable long-term cultivation of microalgae biomass in outdoor use. Cultures with Scenedesmus and Chlorella species have been grown outdoors at their optimal growth temperature (avg. 26 °C) for 145 days during spring and summer and were tested successfully for the stable production of microalgae (avg. biomass productivity 0.3 g L−1 day−1 (max. 0.75 g L−1 day−1)) with an overall photosynthetic conversion efficiency of 7.2 % based on photosynthetically active radiation. The average calorific value of the produced biomass is 23.25 MJ kg−1 with defined product quality (content relating to biomass dry weight: proteins 0.40 g g−1, lipophilic compounds 0.38 g g−1 and total carotenoids 11 mg g−1). This outdoor concept is continuously adjustable to maintain an optimal environment for microalgae cultures (in particular light entry, temperature control and limiting of oxygen levels).
KeywordsBiomimetic design Christmas tree photobioreactor Outdoor cultivation Temperature control
This R&D work of the research group of Prof. Dr. C. Griehl and GICON® is funded by the European Union and the German Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt.
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