Modeling and Simulation of Microalgae Growth in a Couette-Taylor Bioreactor
Despite the fact that biotechnology with microalgae is attracting a lot of research interest since 1950s, a reliable computational tool for simulation of microalgal bioreactors is still lacking. In this work, a unified multidisciplinary modeling framework for microalgae culture systems is presented. Our framework consists of the model of microalgae growth in form of advection-diffusion-reaction system within a phenomenological model of photosynthesis and photoinhibition. The fluid dynamics is described by the Navier-Stokes equations and the irradiance field inside a reactor closes the equation system. The main achievement resides in successful integration of computational fluid dynamics code ANSYS Fluent and reaction kinetics, which makes our approach reliable and simple to implement. As a case study, the simulation of microalgae growth in a Couette-Taylor bioreactor is presented. The bioreactor operation leads to hydrodynamically induced fluctuating light conditions and the flashing light enhancement phenomenon, known from experiments. The presented model thus exhibits features of a real system.
KeywordsMicroalgae Mathematical modeling Photosynthesis CFD Couette-Taylor bioreactor Flashing light enhancement
This work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic - projects “CENAKVA” (No. CZ.1.05/2.1.00/01.0024), “CENAKVA II” (No. LO1205 under the NPU I program) and The CENAKVA Centre Development (No. CZ.1.05/2.1.00/19.0380) and by the long-term strategic development financing of the Institute of Computer Science (RVO: 67985807).
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