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Student Learning Projects in Sustainable Energy: Solar-Powered Algae Culture, Photovoltaics, and CO2 Capture

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael G. Mauk, Carlos Ruiz, Richard Y. Chiou, Jean Espaillat, Senyu Wang, Ainhoa Garcia, Robert Surrette

Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Paper No. IMECE2018-88404, pp. V005T07A052; 7 pages
  • ASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Engineering Education
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, November 9–15, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5206-4
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


A systems approach combining algae aquaculture for biofuels, photovoltaic solar electric generation, and a subsystem for atmospheric CO2 capture as a carbon source for the algae, is developed as a platform and testbed for student engineering design projects. This work serves as a hands-on learning design project for engineering undergraduates in renewable energy, industrial microbiology, and sustainable and ‘green’ technology. Fully-instrumented and automated tabletop systems for circulating algae cultures in plastic fluidic channels integrated with silicon solar cells are designed, prototyped and tested with the aim of optimizing the yields and solar energy utilization.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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