(337ae) Plasmonics-Enhanced Microalgal Growth in Mini-Photobioreactors

Torkamani, S., Washington University in St. Louis
Sureshkumar, R., Syracuse University
Wani, S., Washington University in St. Louis
Tang, Y., Washington University in St. Louis

Metal nanoparticles can couple with different wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum to produce strong absorption. This interaction can be tuned to enhance the absorption in a specific region. As is shown in this paper, silver nanoparticles can enhance the irradiance provided for microalgae and hence, increase the microalgal biomass growth. Microalgal mini-photobioreactor configuration can be designed using a model that takes plasmonics into account. We designed a mini-photobioreactor which consists of an additional section containing a dispersion of silver nanoparticles in water and ethylene glycol. This section scatters the light back to the medium and therefore enhances the microalgal growth. The proposed system has the potential to be applied in biosensors. Following figure depicts the experimental results.