Analysis of mass transfer capacity in raceway reactors
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Author/sBarceló-Villalobos, M.; Guzmán Sánchez, J.L.; Martín Cara, I.; Sánchez Molina, J.A.; Acien-Fernandez, F.G.
In the present work, a methodology is proposed to determine the mass transfer capacity in existing microalgae raceway reactors to minimize excessive dissolved oxygen accumulation that would otherwise reduce biomass productivity. The methodology has been validated using a 100 m2 raceway reactor operated in semi-continuous mode. The relevance of each raceway reactor section was evaluated as well as the oxygen transfer capacity in the sump to different air flow rates. The results confirm that dissolved oxygen accumulates in raceway reactors if no appropriate mass transfer systems are provided. Therefore, mass transfer in the sump is the main contributor to oxygen removal in these systems. The variation in the volumetric mass transfer coefficient in the sump as a function of the gas flow rate, and therefore the superficial gas velocity in the sump, has been studied and modelled. Moreover, the developed model has been used to estimate the mass transfer requirements in the sump as a function...