A model is developed for prediction of axial concentration profiles of dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide in tubular photobioreactors used for culturing microalgae. Experimental data are used to verify the model for continuous outdoor culture of Porphyridium cruentum grown in a 200‐L reactor with 100‐m long tubular solar receiver. The culture was carried out at a dilution rate of 0.05 h−1 applied only during a 10‐h daylight period. The quasi‐steady state biomass concentration achieved was 3.0 g · L−1, corresponding to a biomass productivity of 1.5 g · L−1 · d−1. The model could predict the dissolved oxygen level in both gas disengagement zone of the reactor and at the end of the loop, the exhaust gas composition, the amount of carbon dioxide injected, and the pH of the culture at each hour. In predicting the various parameters, the model took into account the length of the solar receiver tube, the rate of photosynthesis, the velocity of flow, the degree of mixing, and gas‐liquid mass transfer. Because the model simulated the system behavior as a function of tube length and operational variables (superficial gas velocity in the riser, composition of carbon dioxide in the gas injected in the solar receiver and its injection rate), it could potentially be applied to rational design and scale‐up of photobioreactors. © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Biotechnol Bioeng 62: 71–86, 1999.
Biotechnology and Bioengineering – Wiley
Published: Jan 5, 1999
Keywords: photobioreactor; airlift bioreactor; microalgae; mass transfer; liquid circulation
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