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High-density algal photobioreactors using light-emitting diodes

February 22nd, 2007 | 2 Comments | Posted in Algae-Cultivation, Algae-Photobioreactor

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High-density algal photobioreactors using light-emitting diodes

Choul-Gyun Lee, Bernhard Ø. Palsson *
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
*Correspondence to Bernhard Ø. Palsson, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Keywords – Chlorella vulgaris • light-emitting diodes (LEd) • Oxygen production • photobioreactor(PBR)


Lack of high-density algal photobioreactors (PBR) has been a limitation in exploiting the biotechnological potential of algae. Recent developments of highly efficient light-emitting diodes (LED using gallium aluminum arsenide chips) have made the development of a small LED-based PBR possible. We have calculated theoretical values of gas mass transfer requirements and light-intensity requirement to support high-density algal cultures for the 680 nm monochromatic red light from LED as a light source. A prototype PBR has been designed based on these calculations. A cell concentration of more than 2 × 109 cells/mL (more than 6.6% v%sol;v), cell doubling times as low as 12 h, and an oxygen production rate as high as 10 mmol oxygen/L culture/h were achieved using on-line ultrafiltration to periodically provide fresh medium.

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2 Responses to “High-density algal photobioreactors using light-emitting diodes”

  1. Ing. David Valdes Says:

    is it possible to create a big led photobioreactor, big , like 45' by 4' by 8' high? the size of a sea freight container!

  2. Charlie D Says:

    Impressive application of LED.

    Charles Dufour
    LED Menus

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