Oilgae Club - an Online Community for Algae Fuel Enthusiasts Worldwide.

Topic of the week

  • Recent Advancements in Photobioreactors

    Photobioreactors are increasingly considered to be an integral component of any algae fuel set up, even if only for part of the process. As a result, a number of research efforts and innovations are being attempted.
    What do you think are the most important innovations taking place in the photobioreactor domain? Or should be taking place?
    Share your thoughts, opinions and recommendations here

Thoughts and ideas from Oilgae Club members (2)

  1. PLYWAJ 2 years ago

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    PLYLIGHT’S AQUAMERSION™ SYSTEM: LIGHT DISTRIBUTION TUBES FOR ALGAE PHOTO-BIOREACTORS
    THE PROBLEM:
    The growth of algae is receiving a significant amount of attention due to its perceived uses as a source of combustible fuel, a source of nourishment, a raw material for biodegradable plastics, and a consumer of carbon dioxide which is widely viewed as a threat to the environment. Most forms of algae require light to thrive. In anticipation of a large demand for algae, it would be preferable to grow algae in very large tanks. If such tanks are intended to grow algae on a continuous basis, there is a need to supply light throughout the interior of these tanks. Light simply directed on the top or outside surfaces of large tanks (external light), even if these tanks were formed of a transparent material, would be inadequate since the algae close to the surface and sidewalls of these tanks would block infiltration of light into the interior – and limit the algae growth.

    THE AQUAMERSION™ SOLUTION:
    AQUAMERSION™ is a light distribution systems for these environments. These tubes would be liquid filled, with a liquid such as water or other suitable clear liquid, providing an illumination system having a weight and internal pressure similar to the pressure of the intended submerged environment thereby minimizing or eliminating the pressure difference between the exterior (submerged environment) and the tube interior. The principle here is that the light source for the algae comes from within the bioreactor not from without. This method will not limit algae growth or the scaling of these photo bioreactors.

    PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION:
    A single illumination tube of this type would be provided with different amounts of surface areas comprising air-to-other-material interfaces. The principle of operation simply put is that light striking areas having air-to-other-material interfaces is reflected back into the interior of the tube if the angle of incidence is below a certain critical angle. Light passes through the tube wall where there is no air interface. The light emanating from these tubes can be controlled along their full length.
    Illumination devices (drivers) are preferably positioned outside of the water environment (out of the algae harvest zone) and are connected to the illumination devices via light carrying connectors, e.g. fiber optic cables or light transport pipes. The light source may be artificial or natural – sunlight.
    At least the exterior surfaces of these tubes would be formed of, or coated with, a nonstick coating to prevent algae from sticking and clogging the works.

    THE PATENT:
    The USPTO issued US Patent 8,998,472 B2 titled LIQUID FILLED LIGHT GUIDE CONTAINING VOIDS WITHIN THE WALL, to Walter A. Johanson on 7 April, 2015. According to the USPTO: “No prior art was found teaching individually, or suggesting in combination, all of the features of the applicants’ invention, specifically a liquid-filled light guide tube with voids and void-less areas formed within the light guide tube sidewall, for effecting light extraction from the liquid-filled light guide.”

    THE PROMISE:
    A PHOTO BIOREACTOR WITH UNLIMITED SCALABILITY.
    CONTACT: wajohanson@plylight.com and see: www.aquamersion.com


  2. Narsi 3 years ago

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    I would ideally like to see innovations in PBRs where the PBRs start using cheap and affordable materials such as easily available plastics. All right, to make it sustainable, make that bioplastics or plastic waste!

    For aeration mechanisms too, I would like to see PBRs use natural energy sources such as gravitational energy, or probably even wind energy rather than depend on costly fossil energy.

    Isn't it appropriate that we use sustainable energy sources and sustainable materials to produce sustainable fuels?