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Increased Photobioreactor Productivity Using Algae With Low Pigmentation: A Light Transfer Perspective

[+] Author Affiliations
Thomas E. Murphy, Halil Berberoğlu

The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Paper No. IMECE2010-39482, pp. 67-74; 8 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; NanoEngineering for Energy; Engineering to Address Climate Change, Parts A and B
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4429-8
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


This paper reports a numerical study on the photosynthetic productivity of algae photobioreactors using wild strains and genetically engineered strains with low chlorophyll pigment content. First, the specific photosynthetic rates of the wild strain algae Chlammydomonas reinhardtii CC125 and the truncated chlorophyll transformant tla1 were obtained from experiments as a function of the total available irradiation for each cell. This rate was modeled with a modified Monod function accounting for light saturation and light inhibition. The models were coupled with the radiative transport equation (RTE) to predict both the local and total photosynthetic rate of an open pond photobioreactor. The benefits and limitations of using truncated antenna transformants for increasing productivity of mass algae culturing are discussed.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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