Analysis of productivity in raceway photobioreactor using computational fluid dynamics particle tracking coupled to a dynamic photosynthesis model
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Raceway photobioreactors (RWPs) are the most common and affordable device for the mass culture of microalgae but due to geometry and the requirement of low input power, its photosynthetic performance is low. The fluid dynamics of RWPs have been studied for information such as energy dissipation and shear rate, CFD has never been used to analyze photosynthesis efficiency by coupling dynamic photosynthesis models with microalgae trajectories. In this work, we investigate by CFD simulation the effect of circulation velocities between 0.2 and 0.8 m s-1in a 0.15 m−1 deep RWPs under standard outdoor conditions to shows that in all circumstances the RWP from the point o view of photosynthesis operates as a perfectly segregated device (no mixing) and that the average growth rate is the result of the integration of the local growth rates at different depths (integration factor Γ = 0).