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TUBULAR PHOTOBIOREACTOR FOR MICROALGAE BIODIESEL PRODUCTION

Keywords: microalgae biodiesel , microalgae harvesting , microalgae yield , microalgae lipid production , biofuels , cell production.

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Abstract:

Biodiesel production from algae is a promising technique. Microalgae have the potential to produce 5,000-15,000 gallons of biodiesel/(acre-year). However, there are challenges; these include high yieldof algae biomass with high lipid content and the effective technique to harvest the grown algae, extract the algal oil and transesterify the oil to biodiesel. In this project Tubular PhotoBioReactor (TPBR) was designed and achieved a ten times increase in algae concentration. It produced 1g of dry algal biomass per liter of medium within 12 days, with a lipid content of 12% approximately. Healthy algal culture grew well in the TPBR reaching 56x106 cells/mL of culture medium. The 10 fold increase is higher than those reported for open ponds and helical photobioreactor.

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