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Engineering    2017, Vol. 3 Issue (3) : 318 -329
Research |
Design of Photobioreactors for Mass Cultivation of Photosynthetic Organisms
Qingshan Huang1,2,Fuhua Jiang1,Lianzhou Wang3,Chao Yang1,2()
1. Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266101, China
2. Key Laboratory of Green Process and Engineering, Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
3. Nanomaterials Center, School of Chemical Engineering and Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland, Queensland 4072, Australia

Photosynthetic microorganisms are important bioresources for producing desirable and environmentally benign products, and photobioreactors (PBRs) play important roles in these processes. Designing PBRs for photocatalysis is still challenging at present, and most reactors are designed and scaled up using semi-empirical approaches. No appropriate types of PBRs are available for mass cultivation due to the reactors’ high capital and operating costs and short lifespan, which are mainly due to a current lack of deep understanding of the coupling of light, hydrodynamics, mass transfer, and cell growth in efficient reactor design. This review provides a critical overview of the key parameters that influence the performance of the PBRs, including light, mixing, mass transfer, temperature, pH, and capital and operating costs. The lifespan and the costs of cleaning and temperature control are also emphasized for commercial exploitation. Four types of PBRs—tubular, plastic bag, column airlift, and flat-panel airlift reactors are recommended for large-scale operations. In addition, this paper elaborates the modeling of PBRs using the tools of computational fluid dynamics for rational design. It also analyzes the difficulties in the numerical simulation, and presents the prospect for mechanism-based models.

Keywords Photobioreactor      Solar energy      Photosynthesis      Hydrodynamics      Flashing-light effect     
Corresponding Authors: Chao Yang   
Just Accepted Date: 23 May 2017   Issue Date: 30 June 2017
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Qingshan Huang
Fuhua Jiang
Lianzhou Wang
Chao Yang
Cite this article:   
Qingshan Huang,Fuhua Jiang,Lianzhou Wang, et al. Design of Photobioreactors for Mass Cultivation of Photosynthetic Organisms[J]. Engineering, 2017, 3(3): 318 -329 .
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