Bioresource Technology, Vol.161, 186-191, 2014
A novel photobioreactor generating the light/dark cycle to improve microalgae cultivation
In this work, a novel tubular photobioreactor with the outer surface periodically shaded by the light-shielding material at pre-set interval was developed. Such design forms periodic light and dark regions along tubular photobioreactor, which creates controllable light/dark cycle and favours the microalgae growth. Experimental results showed that the developed photobioreactor was beneficial for the growth of Chlorella pyrenoidosa and a higher light-to-biomass conversion efficiency was achieved. The effects of the frequency of the light/dark cycle and light intensity on the microalgae cultivation were also investigated. It was revealed that this new design could greatly enhance the photosynthetic efficiency. As compared to conventional photobioreactors, the average biomass productivity could be increased by 21.6 +/- 2.1% when the frequency of created artificial light/dark cycle was set at 100 Hz. The photobioreactor developed in this work enables an efficient light-to-biomass conversion and provides a viable and promising vision for large-scale outdoor applications. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.