Modeling and Optimization of Microalgae Growth in Photobioreactors: A Multidisciplinary Problem
Microalgae have the potential to be a major biofuel source in the future. Computational biology plays a key role in understanding biological processes within microalgae and optimizing biofuel production. Here, we present a multidisciplinary, multi-timescale modeling approach of microalgae growth in photobioreactors. Our modeling framework bridges biology (cell growth), physics (hydrodynamics and light distribution), and optimization together. This framework consists of (i) the state system (mass balance equations in form of advection-diffusion-reaction PDEs), (ii) the fluid flow equations (the Navier-Stokes equations), and (iii) the optimization problem formulation. The modeling and optimization of microalgae growth in a Couette-Taylor reactor is presented to demonstrate this method. We show how the flashing light effect can be an intrinsic part of the model. Finally, we discuss further methodological integration with the metabolomic-transcriptomic kinetic model, which explains cellular concentrations of key metabolites in connection with cell growth.
KeywordsMicroalgae photobioreactor optimization multiscale modeling flashing light effect
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