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How do the PBRs work !! 7

I get many mails. They surprise me. We are group of Professionals networked by Oilgae. There can be many doubts that we can get cleared by asking in the group than by personal mails.

By posting in the group, we will get replies from several people.

So, here is a question from Dwaraka Vemuri !
Dear members please ensure that He gets good resonse for his query. ( I too will learn from it: -)

" Hello Mr.Manohar Namassivayam,
I have seen and read your blogs on Oilgae and think that they are very insightful and imaginative.
My name is Dwarka Vemuri. You can call me Dwarka.I ama physician by trade.

Currently, I am looking for information on how the PBRs work and if it can be made to run on Solar/Wind Power sources to create algae biofuel in Ohio, USA.
In this regard, I would like to communicate this project with you.
You can reach me at my email:
susruta@yahoo.com or leave a message and I will respond
Kind regards,
Dwarka "
Thu June 17 2010 02:41:59 AM by Manohar 2095 views

Comments - 5

  • Thu June 17 2010 03:48:36 AM

    A photobioreactor is a closed equipment which provides a controlled environment and enables high productivity of algae.

    As it is a closed system, all growth requirements of algae are introduced into the system and controlled according to the requirements. PBRs facilitate better control of culture environment such as carbon dioxide supply, water supply, optimal temperature, efficient exposure to light, culture density, pH levels, gas supply rate, mixing regime, etc.,

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  • MattS wrote:
    Wed January 12 2011 12:17:58 AM

    The higher the area/volume (A/V) ratio built into the PBR design, the more algae one will grow. The A/V of our vertical 1 acre system is 3.9. 
    I hope this is helpful. It really isn't for simple analysis. But as a tool to guide PBR design, this is the key to the universe. 
    Have a great day!

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  • Shankar wrote:
    Fri January 14 2011 06:33:47 AM

    Is it possible to build pbrs with A/V of say 5 ? 
    Am also curious to know, what is the total area of your one acre system ?
    How much algae can be grown in it ?  Per day / week depending on the strain.

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  • Mon January 17 2011 05:04:22 AM

    What do you mean by the A/V ratio?    My question is, how do you define volume?   How do you define area?   What part does debth of a reactor and surface area and light penatration and quality of light and time of light and denisty of algae culture and, and, and............

    So it looks like I have a bushel of apples and oranges, please help me sort them out.

    I can see how a solar pond or ditch would probably have a A/V ratio of 1/1.  BUT, how can one compare a solar with an average of quality light of maybe 6 hours per day to a Heterotrophic reactor that operates 24 hours per day.  An LED reactor will also operate at optimum speed, 24 hours per day.  How do you measure the effective surface area of a PBR that is 20 feet deep and has LEDs from the top to the bottom?  A solar pond seems very inadquate.


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  • Larsyn wrote:
    Mon January 17 2011 02:29:54 PM

    Seems to me there needs to be a different rating system for PBR's. Probably two systems one for raceway type & one for verticle types. It should deal with the amount of media being processed. Athird system with a thru put would require another rating system.

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