Algae Photobioreactor Research



Wikipedia: A tubular reactor consists of vertical or horizontal arranged tubes, connected together to a pipe system. The algae-suspended fluid is able to circulate in this tubing. The tubes are generally made out of transparent plastics or borosilicate glass and the constant circulation is kept up by a pump at the end of the system. The introduction of gas takes place at the end/beginning of the tube system. This way of introducing gas causes the problem of deficiency of carbon dioxide, high concentration of oxygen at the end of the unit during the circulation, and bad efficiency.


Simple and easy $12 bioreactor for cultivating new strains of algae:

A more intense $200 bioreactor:

This guy states that he had ice in his reactor (from cold temperatures) but was still able to grow his algae.  This is promising as the temperatures will be quite low in our pavilion. Culturing Solutions Limiting factors to photobioreactors

  • Fouling caused by algae collecting on the surface will inhibit light absorption and reduce production
  • Pumping is a major concern. Too much shear will damage more delicate algae species.
  • Low flow rates will bleach algae from to much light and dissolved oxygen will build up, both of which greatly inhibit cell reproduction.
  • Light transmission into the growing media only reaches to a certain depth before photosynthesis ceases. In dark areas more complex synthesist occurs.
  • When the algae do not have the proper amount of time in each phase growth rates are greatly depreciated.
  • Control over the growing parameters needs to be closely maintained to specifications.

Oil Algae:

Wikipedia article on Algaculture:

The majority of agriculturally produced algae are generally microalgae ( phytoplanktonmicrophytes, or planktonic algae).

The following video may prove helpful when (if)  we need to start combining air pumps:


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