(674c) Photobioreactor Productivity Enhancement Offered by Oscillatory Flow Mixing

Taylor, B. J., University of Cambridge
Mackley, M., University of Cambridge

Closed photobioreactors offer certain advantages over open algal growth systems in terms of consistent product output and purity but still suffer from other drawbacks. Limitations of many tubular photobioreactors were identified, and a new reactor was constructed to meet these challenges by utilizing the proven processing advantages of oscillatory flow mixing (OFM). The unique mass and energy transfer characteristics of OFM offer excellent bulk-to-wall turnover and suspension capabilities similar to that provided by turbulent flow but at significantly reduced input energy requirements. Growth experiments with the algal strain Scenedesmus obliquus demonstrated improved growth kinetics and sustained productivity within the laboratory-scale OFM reactor surpassing those from other bioreactor types. Computational fluid dynamics accurately predicted the suspension flow patterns obtained experimentally with OFM and offer insight into proper process control variables tailored to a wide range of algal species and reactor scales.