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Optimisation of a photobioreactor

Duncanson, Stuart (2014). Optimisation of a photobioreactor. Bachelor of Engineering (4th Year Project) Thesis, Charles Darwin University.

Document type: Thesis
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Author Duncanson, Stuart
Title Optimisation of a photobioreactor
Institution Charles Darwin University
Publication Date 2014
Thesis Type Bachelor of Engineering (4th Year Project)
Subjects ENGINEERING
Abstract In order for biofuels to become a viable source of renewable energy, it is necessary to maximise the biomass productivity and energy efficiency of the production process. Third generation biofuels, which are produced from algae, have shown a much greater areal biomass productivity than previous generations of biofuels. The most significant challenge in production of third generation biofuels is maximising the positive net energy production obtained from the biomass. This challenge can be overcome by increasing the biomass concentration produced and by decreasing the energy expended in production.

By reviewing and critically analysing the research that has been conducted by others on third generation biofuels, an optimised tubular photobioreactor has been designed. The key parameters that affect the operation of the photobioreactor are the fluid flow characteristics, the solar collector design, pH and temperature control and CO2 control.

Optimal growth conditions vary depending on the particular strain of microalgae. Due to the large number of known microalgae strains, there is very limited research into the optimal growth conditions for specific strains. For this reason, the photobioreactor has been designed in such a way that many of the input parameters are able to be varied. The parameters able to be varied include CO2 levels, temperature, pH level and flow rates. The tubular photobioreactor is intended to be used for conducting research into the optimal conditions for producing high concentrations of biomass in an energy efficient manner.
Keyword Biofuel
Biomass
Photobioreactor
Third Generation Biofuels
Microalgae
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Created: Mon, 23 Mar 2015, 12:57:32 CST by Jessie Ng