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Biofilm-based photobioreactor absorbing water and nutrients by capillary action

Hamano, Hayato, Nakamura, Shun, Hayakawa, Jumpei, Miyashita, Hideaki, Harayama, Shigeaki
Bioresource technology 2017 v.223 pp. 307-311
Chlorophyta, air, biomass production, bioreactors, capillarity, carbon dioxide, light intensity, mixing, nutrients, polytetrafluoroethylene
Cells of the unicellular green alga, “Pseudochoricystis ellipsoidea”, were uniformly spread on a cellulosic sheet or on a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane sheet superimposed on a cellulosic sheet at a density of 3.5–5.0gdry weight per m2, and the sheet was adhered to an inverted V-shaped acrylic plate of 10cm in height. Several acrylic plates were placed side by side on a tray containing liquid medium at a depth of 0.6cm, and illuminated from above with a light intensity of 300–340μmolm−2s−1. Water and nutrients were supplied to cells by capillary action through the cellulosic sheet. Footprint biomass productivities of cells grown in atmospheric CO2 on this photobioreactor were 8–10gm−2day−1. This cultivation system is strongly energy- and labor-saving as it does not require mixing of culture fluid, irrigation of medium, and delivery of CO2-enriched air.