Membrane Photobioreactor as a Device to Increase CO2 Mitigation by Microalgae

  • Rosalam Hj. Sarbatly
  • Emma Suali


The integration of a membrane contactor with a photobioreactor serves two major purposes for the mitigation of CO2 by microalgae, i.e., to enhance the mass transfer and interfacial contact between two different phases and to increase the exchange process of CO2–O2 by microalgae in the photobioreactor. The membrane integrated with a photobioreactor for CO2 mitigation by microalgae can be considered as a relatively new field, and only four or five related research efforts have been published in the literature, suggesting that a significant amount of work remains to be done in this field. In addition, all of the authors agreed that a membrane contactor is capable of achieving better mass transfer than the conventional approach of using a separation column in the gas–liquid separation process. One significant problem associated with using a membrane as a CO2–O2 gas exchanger is its susceptibility to pore fouling due to the micron-size cells of the microalgae. However, pore fouling can be prevented by using a hydrophobic membrane contactor and appropriate operating conditions, both of which are discussed in detail in this work.


CO2 sequestration Microalgae Membrane photobioreactor Biomass 



This work was financially supported by the Research Grant LRGS/TD/2011/UMP/PG/04 from Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia. This work was also supported by the Borneo Marine Research Institute, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosalam Hj. Sarbatly
    • 1
  • Emma Suali
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Engineering and Information TechnologyUniversiti Malaysia Sabah, Jalan UMSKota KinabaluMalaysia

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