Bioreactor for Biorefining Feedstock Production
This bioreactor technology provides the optimization required for production of microalgae as a feedstock for refining into biodiesel by increasing algea production by maximizing the presence of the distributed solar energy. It also facilitates the use of artificial lighting during the nonavailability periods of solar energy. Gas is injected in the algal slurry at the bottom of the bioreactor and travels to the top, where it is separated from the liquid. The advanced design facilitates the transmission of photosynthetically active radiation to the microalgae at the optimal level. Continuous motion of the algal slurry over as well as away from the light sources, ensures the stimulation of photosynthesis, as well as prevents the build-up of the slurry inside the bioreactor. The transmission fibers are terminated inside the bioreactor, eliminating any requirement for the use of a separate light distribution system. This helps in saving both design and construction costs. The technology also incorporates a mechanism to minimize the effect of heat dissipation in the optical fibers.
The technology has applications in the areas of biofuel production and protein/feed and nutraceuticals (health enhancing foods). It can also be utilized in processes that remediate CO 2 emissions and perform carbon recycling. Biofuels are emerging as the most innovative and promising alternative to meet the global energy crisis, with US as the biggest global producer. The world-wide requirement for biofuels is expected to grow at an aggressive rate from a $82.7 billion market to $185.3 billion market in 2021.
OU Ref: 06009 View PDF
David Bayless, Ph.D. Loehr Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Ohio Coal Research Center