Thin photobioreactor with enhanced volumetric productivity and thermal management

FIST SA - 10/27/2016


The technology is base on the association of an inclined and enlightened plane on which the stream of microorganisms in suspension flows and a transparent tube parallel to the inclined plane in wich the suspension is lifted up upstream to close the loop. Dark volumes are avoided in the system and the angle of said plane with the ground can be raised. The thickness of suspension on the plane can be as small as 1.5 cm or below without loosing in production rate as the rate enlightened surface/culture volume is encreased.


- High enlightened specific surface and gas/liquid surface, no mixing. - Biomass concentration up to 1g/L has been obtained. - Closed PBR (control of atmosphere) which the external wall is not in contact with the suspension, limiting the biofilm formation. - No mechanical parts.


Photobioreactors (PBR) have been widely researched and used in biomass microalgal culture for more than two decades, but most of them were just used in laboratories or in pilot or experimental bases. There were only few of them being real used in industrial or commercial algal production. Production rate was not economically sufficient due to oxygen built up in the culture medium, overheating inside the closed system, shear force damage to the algal cells, high costs of infrastructures of the whole system, or to the operation complexities… etc. All these limitations had to be faced before scaling up PBR into real commercial production.

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