Comprehensive Oilgae Report

A detailed report on all aspects of the algae fuel value chain, the Comprehensive Oilgae Report will be of immense help to those who are on the threshold of investing in algae biofuels. More ››

Algae-based Wastewater Treatment

Compiled by a diverse team of experts, with experience in scientific and industrial fields, the Comprehensive Report for Wastewater Treatment Using Algae is the first report that provides in-depth analysis and insights on this important field. It uses innumerable data and information from a wide variety of expert sources and market studies, and distills these inputs and data into intelligence and a roadmap that you can use. More ››

Comprehensive Guide for Algae-based Carbon Capture

A Comprehensive Guide for Entrepreneurs and Businesses Who Wish to get a Basic Understanding of the Business Opportunities and Industry Dynamics of the Algae-based CO2. More ››

Comprehensive Report on Attractive Algae Product Opportunities

This is for entrepreneurs and businesses who wish to get a basic understanding of the algae fuel business and industrThe report provides an overview of the wide range of non-fuel applications of algae – both current and future prospects. It will provide entrepreneurs with an idea of how to derive more benefits from their algal energy ventures. The report provides detailed case studies, success stories and factoids of companies that have been involved in the algae products venture. More ››

Comprehensive Castor Oil Report

There is no other comprehensive report available for castor oil anywhere in the world. This is the first of its kind, and currently, the only one. More ››

Bioplastics Market & Strategy Advisor

Bioplastics Market & Strategy Advisor, published by the Bioplastics Guide, is a unique guiding framework for businesses and entrepreneurs to chart a way forward provides a critical analysis of the status, opportunities & trends of the global bioplastics sector. More ››

Algae - Food and Feed

Edible Sea-weeds 


Animal and Fish Feed

Algae-Useful Substances





Algae for Pollution Control

Other Novel Applications

Expert market & strategy consulting for biofuels, bioplastics - Talk to EAI

Cultivation of Algae in Open Ponds


Cultivation of algae in open ponds has been extensively studied. Open ponds can be categorized into natural waters (lakes, lagoons, ponds) and artificial ponds or containers. The most commonly used systems include shallow big ponds, tanks, circular ponds and raceway ponds. One of the major advantages of open ponds is that they are easier to construct and operate than most closed systems. However, major limitations in open ponds include poor light utilization by the cells, evaporative losses, diffusion of CO2 to the atmosphere, and requirement of large areas of land. Furthermore, contamination by predators and other fast growing heterotrophs have restricted the commercial production of algae in open culture systems to only those organisms that can grow under extreme conditions. Also, due to inefficient stirring mechanisms in open cultivation systems, their mass transfer rates are very poor resulting to low biomass productivity.
The ponds in which the algae are cultivated are usually what are called the “raceway ponds”. In these ponds, the algae, water & nutrients circulate around a racetrack. With paddlewheels providing the flow, algae are kept suspended in the water, and are circulated back to the surface on a regular frequency. The ponds are usually kept shallow because the algae need to be exposed to sunlight, and sunlight can only penetrate the pond water to a limited depth. The ponds are operated in a continuous manner, with CO2 and nutrients being constantly fed to the ponds, while algae-containing water is removed at the other end.

The biggest advantage of these open ponds is their simplicity, resulting in low production costs and low operating costs. While this is indeed the simplest of all the growing techniques, it has some drawbacks owing to the fact that the environment in and around the pond is not completely under control. Bad weather can stunt algae growth. Contamination from strains of bacteria or other outside organisms often results in undesirable species taking over the desired algae growing in the pond. The water in which the algae grow also has to be kept at a certain temperature, which can be difficult to maintain. Another drawback is the uneven light intensity and distribution within the pond.

The NREL’s Aquatic Species Program (ASP) used open ponds for its experiments and has also favoured the same for the future primarily owing to its economic value. However, many companies today are trying out with Closed Pond systems and in many cases, with the much more expensive photobioreactors.


Related Blog Posts

Related Forum Discussions

Get in Touch

Send us a message to know more on how we can help your organisation.