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Process control strategies applied to microalgae-based biofuel production

Nwoba, E.G.ORCID: 0000-0003-0397-2369, Chuka-ogwude, D., Vadiveloo, A.ORCID: 0000-0001-8886-5540 and Ogbonna, J.C. (2022) Process control strategies applied to microalgae-based biofuel production. In: Jacob-Lopes, E., Zepka, L. and Maroneze, M., (eds.) 3rd Generation Biofuels: Disruptive Technologies to Enable Commercial Production. Woodhead Publishing, pp. 105-134.

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The shift toward the production of sustainable and green energies such as algal biofuels has necessitated prioritization of scale-up technologies to improve the overall techno-economics of the process. There is now a great emphasis on the development and adoption of digitization and automation technologies within the algae sector to meet the desired scale of production and for the optimization of operating parameters. The integration of advanced process control strategies, improvement in digitization, and data analytics are among the key elements required to meet the demand for low-cost microalgae commodities. Apart from the economics, real-time continuous monitoring and automated control of large-scale microalgae cultures are also essential to maximize the output of the system. In this chapter, we critically reviewed the growth and technical requirement of mass microalgae cultivation for biofuel production as well as various process control strategies, innovative physical equipment (e.g., proportional-integral-derivative and fuzzy logic controllers), and monitoring systems for the efficient automation of algae cultivation systems. We discussed the potential of novel and upcoming technologies (Industry 4.0 and 5.0) and tools (smart sensors and actuators) that can be potentially integrated within microalgae cultivation processes to enhance their continuous and remote monitoring, automation, and optimization. How upcoming technologies such as the application of Internet of Things (IoT) to automation and smart farming can contribute toward significant improvement in commercial algae production was also discussed. This chapter concludes with a brief discussion on the fundamental challenges that restrict the deployment of process control strategies and advanced equipment within microalgae cultivation processes, and future recommendations that can potentially be implemented to overcome these challenges and thus drive the establishment of the algae-based biofuel industry.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Centre for Water, Energy and Waste
Algae R&D Centre
Publisher: Woodhead Publishing
Copyright: © 2022 Elsevier Inc.
Other Information: Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy
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