Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Hydrodynamic Light Flashing in Thin Layer Wavy Photobioreactors

Version 1 : Received: 4 June 2019 / Approved: 5 June 2019 / Online: 5 June 2019 (14:56:44 CEST)

How to cite: Moroni, M.; Lorino, S.; Cicci, A.; Bravi, M. Hydrodynamic Light Flashing in Thin Layer Wavy Photobioreactors. Preprints 2019, 2019060043 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201906.0043.v1). Moroni, M.; Lorino, S.; Cicci, A.; Bravi, M. Hydrodynamic Light Flashing in Thin Layer Wavy Photobioreactors. Preprints 2019, 2019060043 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201906.0043.v1).

Abstract

In a thin-volume photobioreactor where a concentrated suspension of microalgae is circulated throughout the established spatial irradiance gradient, microalgal cells experience a time-variable irradiance. Deploying this feature is the most convenient way of obtaining the so-called “flashing light” effect, improving biomass production in high irradiance. This work investigates the light flashing features of sloping wavy photobioreactors, a recently proposed type, by introducing and validating a Computational Fluid Dynamics model. Two characteristic flow zones (straight top-bottom stream and local recirculation stream), both effective toward light flashing, have been found and characterised: a recirculation-induced frequency of 3.7 Hz and straight flow-induced frequency of 5.6 Hz were estimated. If the channel slope is increased, the recirculation area becomes less stable while the recirculation frequency is nearly constant with flow rate. The validated CFD model is a mighty tool that could be reliably used to further increase the flashing frequency by optimising the design, the dimensions, the installation and the operational parameters of the sloping wavy photobioreactor.

Subject Areas

microalgae; photobioreactor; flashing light effect; Computational Fluid Dynamics

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