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Key Cost Components of Algae PBR 18

I was discussing with my colleague on the cost reduction strategies in PBRs.

Our discussion turned to the key components that are significant contributors to cost:
1. Materials
2. Aeration
3. Lighting

I have requested my colleague to read up on the latest efforts in these specific topics. I hope to share the data from these with our newsletter readers.
Thu March 25 2010 08:38:28 AM by Narsi cost  |  photobioreactors 2841 views

Comments - 7

  • Manohar wrote:
    Sat March 27 2010 10:41:24 AM

    Am interested in photobioreactors. Who are the others here who are interested in it. Can there be a symbol next to those interested in photobioreactors so that i can try and befriend them if they like their resume.

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  • Dmcgill wrote:
    Sat March 27 2010 05:01:10 PM

    I am still in the research stage of Algae energy products. Living on the North End of Vancouver Island, I personally believe that PBR's are the only and best way for us to go in this climatic zone. Any information on PBR's would be very interesting. We have a large building we are looking at with 15,000 sq. feet. Would this work with some of the new type PBR's and what is the best source of lighting?

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  • Preethi wrote:
    Mon March 29 2010 05:35:38 AM


    As you say, photobioreactors are the best way of cultivation since it can offer significant benefits to producers of algae for specialty purposes like energy products. Few PBR's like Modular Flat Panel Photobioreactor (MFPP), tubular photobioreactor can be used for indoor or island cultivation.

    For the above mentioned kind of PBRs, red LEDs can be used to generate light efficiently and with low heat output, reducing energy costs and improving control over culture temperature. The major advantage is that the LED systems may be tuned to the your own needs, with control over intensity, photoperiod, and spectral distribution.

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  • Mahesh wrote:
    Mon March 29 2010 11:20:59 AM

    Yes, PBR's are the only solution with ever increasing cost of land........ LED's are promising, but one big question in my mind is, if we use sunlight during day time, how is the increase in temperature controlled? if cooling comes in, how about cost? is that cost effective, that too in large scale?

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  • Parkavi wrote:
    Tue March 30 2010 09:50:18 AM

    In Isreal, A company called alga tech sprays water over the tubular photobioreactor to main the temperature.

    See the picture here: http://www.algatech.com/img/chemical/fig3.jpg

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  • Fri June 11 2010 11:46:50 AM

    Parkavi, In the USA the ASP that operated from ~1976 to ~1994 in the S.W. area of the US...a desert area, found out that it is very difficult to operate an open pond and/or ditch system in those very severe climatic conditions. The desert is in NO WAY friendly to the propagation of algae.
    Cold at night and hot as hell in the daytime.

    Excess heat in the daytime, that of coarse is why they are spraying water to cool the algae ponds.
    To spray a lot of water takes a lot of electricity
    and it takes a lot of water....both items are expensive in the desert or for that matter they are expensive anywhere.
    Can they make enough algae products to pay the bill?

    Alan Schaefer

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  • Fri June 11 2010 12:20:16 PM

    F O A (Friends Of Algae)

    Another problem with outside (ditches & ponds)
    propagation of algae is land cost. If one is to
    put in thousands of acres of ditches one needs lots of level ground, good farming ground. So right away you are in competition with food production. Think of the hundreds of miles of piping it will take for such a facility. How is contamination going to be controlled? It could crash the entire system in a matter of hours.

    It makes a lot more sense to me to hold the algae
    solution in large tanks that can hold millions of gallons and they can be insulated. Because of the large capicity it takes a long time to affect a significant temperature change. Harvesting is on a contineous basis and the return water is conditioned with nutrients, cleaned, and temperature adjusted as needed. Bring the light to the algae....leave the rest of the problems out in the field. Sun light energy is not free!!

    Alan Schaefer

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