Year-long production of Scenedesmus almeriensis in pilot-scale raceway and thin-layer cascade photobioreactors
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Author/sMorillas-España, Ainoa; Lafarga, Tomas; Gómez-Serrano, Cintia; Acién-Fernández, Francisco Gabriel; González-López, Cynthia Victoria
Biomass of Scenedesmus almeriensis was produced outdoors for 12 months using three different photobioreactor designs. Optimum dilution rates to achieve the highest biomass productivities were 0.2 day-1 for raceways and 0.3 day-1 for thin-layer reactors. Biomass productivities achieved using thin-layer cascade photobioreactors during the months of higher photosynthetic activity reached 30-35 g/m2·day, higher than those obtained using raceways during the same period: 20-25 g/m2·day. Photosynthetic efficiency was lower in spring/summer when compared to autumn/winter, suggesting that a larger share of the solar energy that reaches the culture in spring/summer is not used for microalgal growth. During summer, culture temperature reached 40 °C in thin-layer photobioreactors, which demonstrates the importance of selecting microalgal strains able to resist these conditions. Photoinhibition was not observed at incident irradiances up to 1600 μE/m2·s. However, dissolved oxygen values were especi...