Bioresource Technology, Vol.245, 250-257, 2017
Modeling shear-sensitive dinoflagellate microalgae growth in bubble column photobioreactors
The shear-sensitive dinoflagellate microalga Karlodinium veneficum was grown in a sparged bubble column photobioreactor. The influence of mass transfer and shear stress on cell growth and physiology (concentration of reactive oxygen species, membrane fluidity and photosynthetic efficiency) was studied, and a model describing cell growth in term of mass transfer and culture parameters (nozzle sparger diameter, air flow rate, and culture height) was developed. The results show that mass transfer limits cell growth at low air-flow rates, whereas the shear stress produced by the presence of bubbles is critically detrimental for air flow rates above 0.1 vvm. The model developed in this paper adequately represents the growth of K. veneficum. Moreover, the parameters of the model indicate that bubble rupture is much more harmful for cells than bubble formation.