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Design of a novel photobioreactor for culture of microalgae


This paper presents the design of a novel photobioreactor for cultivation of microalgae. The body of the reactor with volume of about 40 L is parallelipipedic and divided in five compartments that can be put in series. The optical guides, plunged perpendicularly into the compartments, are upright Plexiglas plates on which side faces there are able to diffuse light laterally and ensure an even distribution of light in the medium. External airlifts through the side columns are used for mixing of culture medium. The external light source is a SON-T lamp mounted inside a projector that provides a conical light dispersion, it is interchangeable and may take different positions. The design offers the photobioreactor characteristics including mainly interchangeable light source, homogenous distribution of light, perfect mixing of suspension of algae, high ratio of illuminating surface to volume of reactor, compactness and absence of contamination. Schemes, view of the photobioractor and data of continuous culture forSpirulina maxima are presented.

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Additional information

Foundation item: Supported by the Scholarship of Faculté Polytechnique de Mons, Belgium: and the National Fund for Scholars Returning From Abroad

Biography: Xia Jin-lan (1964-), male, Ph. D., Professor, research direction: bioscience and bioengineering

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Jin-lan, X., Levert, J.M., Benjelloun, F. et al. Design of a novel photobioreactor for culture of microalgae. Wuhan Univ. J. Nat. Sci. 7, 486–492 (2002).

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Key Words

  • design
  • photobioreactor
  • microalgae
  • Plexiglas optic unit
  • Spirulina maxima

CLC number

  • Q 503