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Potential of milking of microalgae grown on biofilm photobioreactor for renewable hydrocarbon production

Chaudry, S., Bahri, P.A. and Moheimani, N.R. (2017) Potential of milking of microalgae grown on biofilm photobioreactor for renewable hydrocarbon production. Computer Aided Chemical Engineering, 40 . pp. 2497-2502.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-63965-3.50418-9
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Abstract

The high energy consumption is one of the major constraints for producing renewable fuel from microalgae on commercial scale. Dewatering and drying of microalgae are the highest energy consuming steps of the process. Biofilm photobioreactor is the relatively new idea for the microalgae growth which grows the microalgae on solid surface in contrast to the conventional systems (for example open ponds and closed photobioreactors) which grow microalgae suspended in water. The use of biofilm photobioreactor can completely omit the dewatering requirement while achieving the maximum extraction efficiency as in case of dry extraction. This method can significantly reduce the energy consumption specially in case of milking of Botryococcus braunii. Botryococcus braunii is a unique microalgae species which produces hydrocarbons and is able to repeatedly produce these hydrocarbons after non-destructive extraction of them. In this study, we present the preliminary energetic feasibility analysis of milking of B. braunii using the biofilm photobioreactor for their growth. Mathematical models consisting of design equations and material and energy balances have been developed to calculate the energy consumption of the process. Milking of B. braunii grown on biofilm photobioreactor has never been tested experimentally. The inputs to the model are the assumptions best suited to the system. The results of the model show that the energy consumption ratio (energy output/energy input) for the process of milking of B. braunii using the biofilm photobioreactor for their growth is 13.12 MJ produced/MJ consumed. The investigation of biofilm for the growth of B. braunii coupled with non-destructive extraction of hydrocarbons can be an important step towards the development of the sustainable and energetically feasible algal fuel production process.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Algae R&D Centre
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier B.V.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/40261
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