Journal article

Energy consumption due to mixing and mass transfer in a wave photobioreactor

Research Areas

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Publication Details

Author list: Jones SMJ, Louw TM, Harrison STL.

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication year: 2017

Journal: Algal Research

Journal name: Algal Research

Volume number: 24

Start page: 317

End page: 324

Total number of pages: 8

ISSN: 2211-9264



Photobioreactors for algal cultivation commonly use energy intensive gas
sparging to facilitate mixing and gas-liquid mass transfer. A wave
reactor provides an alternative to sparging by providing surface
aeration and mixing by means of a rocking platform. Wave bioreactors
have been used previously for microbial cultivation but this is the
first report to assess microalgal cultivation in a wave reactor with
respect to the energy consumed for mixing and mass transfer. Tracer
studies and the dynamic gassing-in method revealed mixing times
(18–71 s) and kLaCO2 (9–66 h− 1)
comparable to previously reported values for wave reactors. The specific
power input for the wave reactor, measured using calorimetry, ranged
from 57.6 to 903.3 W m− 3 at rocking rates from 15 to 40 rpm,
at a 10° rocking angle. Scenedesmus sp. was cultivated in the wave
reactor at 25 rpm and 10°, 15 rpm and 8°, as well as 15 rpm and 4° (kLaCO2 9–38 h− 1) all at a light intensity of 140 μmol m− 2 s− 1. A maximum biomass concentration of 2.25 g L− 1 and overall biomass productivity of 0.187 g L− 1 d− 1
were obtained at 25 rpm and 10°. There was no significant variation in
these values across the rocking conditions investigated, allowing energy
reduction without adverse effects to microalgal cultivation. The
successful cultivation of Scenedesmus sp. in the wave reactor indicated
the potential for these well-mixed, surface aerated reactors in
microalgal applications as a promising alternative to sparged


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Energy consumption

Last updated on 2017-06-11 at 11:53