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Math for tank size for producing 1,000 liters of oil 15

◦Hasseli, finaly taking time to answer your question: "How big a reactor does it take to grow 1,000 liters of algae oil per day?" Good question! I don't know! But let's try to figure the answer out together. First we have to make some assumptions that, as they say 'may contain some forward looking statements.' We are trying to hit research targets somewhere in the future. As far as I know now some of the production assumptions I make are not being achievied NOW in the real world. But believe me, they are being worked on and every day that goes by is one day closer to our target.

So to the problem, "What is the size of a reactor that produces 1,000 liters of algae oil per 24 hours."

Assumption #1: The reactor will produce 30 grams (dry
basis) per liter capicity per day. Or 113.4 grams/gallon

Assumption # 2: The dry algae contains 50% oil and 50% meal.

Frist, I want to change liters of oil per day to gallons per day.

1,000 liters/day divided by 3.78 liters per gallon equal
264.5 gallons of algae oil per day.

Next, how many pounds of oil per day?

264.5 gal/d X 7.5 lb/gal = 1,983.75 lb/d of algae oil

Next find out the total pounds of algae produced per day

1,983.75 lb/d of oil X 2 (algae is 50% oil & 50% meal) =

3,967.5 lb/d of dry algae X 454 grams per lb.=

1,801,245 grams per day of dry algae divided by 113.4
grams of algae per gallon per day = 15,884 gallons/reactor to make 1,000 liters of algae oil.

15,884 gallons X 3.78liters per gallon = 60,041 liters
Close enough?

Sorry for mixing English and Metric systems, I,m trying to get there in my head but still not all the parts fit.
I'm 72 ......they probably never will. ;)
Have a good day!
Alan Schaefer
Wed May 26 2010 09:07:41 AM by SAMDevelopment 6744 views

Comments - 8

  • Moeyssn wrote:
    Thu May 27 2010 03:27:29 AM

    so you are operating a batch system.. What about a continous flow system with biomass harvesting daily at steady state. I bet the size would multiply.

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  • Thu May 27 2010 08:14:26 PM

    Moeyssn, What did I say that led you to think this was a batch system? To achieve 30 grams per liter capacity per day it would have to be a contineous flow/contineous harvest system.

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  • Moeyssn wrote:
    Fri May 28 2010 02:53:14 AM

    I just didnt see any retention times or growth rates, or everything is lumped up in assumption 1? :)
    I have another question please, how would you describe the volume of the reactor ( 15,884 gallons/reactor) in terms of aspect ratio of surface area to depth?
    Thanks!

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  • Fri May 28 2010 08:10:18 PM

    Moeyssn, These small research reactors, (15,884 gallons) would fall between a 20' long hi-cube
    sea container at 9,500 gallons and a 40' long hi-cube which holds about 19,000 gallons. Probably a regular 40' (eight foot high sides) would be about right.

    Thanks for the questions

    Alan Schaefer

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  • Fri May 28 2010 08:20:29 PM

    One nice thing about sea-cans is that they are portable. They can be shipped anywhere on the globe and are easy to set up.

    Alan Schaefer

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  • Moeyssn wrote:
    Sat May 29 2010 07:12:30 PM

    Thank you!

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  • Thu June 24 2010 05:48:00 AM

    Our bioreactors have a capacity of 500 litres use no electricity and cost ?200 to produce.One person could easily manage 100 (50,000 litres-?20,000)We can only produce 5 grams per litre.In your expert opinion would this achieve cost effectivity.

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  • Manohar wrote:
    Tue July 20 2010 03:32:43 AM

    30 grams per litre per day on a dry basis is way toooooo much.

    May be you mean 3 grams per day ?

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