Main content area

Dynamic model of an industrial raceway reactor for microalgae production

Fernández, I., Acién, F.G., Guzmán, J.L., Berenguel, M., Mendoza, J.L.
Algal research 2016 v.17 pp. 67-78
algae culture, biological properties and phenomena, bioreactors, carbon, dynamic models, engineering, mass transfer, microalgae, oxygen
A dynamic model for microalgae production in raceway reactors is developed in this work. The model takes into account fluid-dynamic, mass transfer, and biological phenomena taking place in microalgae bioreactors. The model has been calibrated and validated using real data from a 100m2 pilot-scale raceway reactor. Results demonstrate that in raceway reactors large accumulation of oxygen takes place into the channel whereas carbon losses into this section are scarce, these phenomena influencing the overall productivity of the reactor. The model can be used to determine characteristic parameters (biological and engineering ones) of existing reactors. Moreover, it can be used to simulate the effect of different designs and/or operation conditions into the performance of the system. Simulations allow us demonstrating that to increase the productivity of raceway reactors it is recommendable to reduce the water depth into the cultures and to increase the mass transfer capacity of the entire reactor.