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Optimizing microalgal productivity in raceway ponds through a controlled mixing device

  • Bernard, Olivier
  • Lu, Liudi
  • Salomon, Julien
Publication Date
Oct 19, 2020
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This paper focuses on mixing strategies to enhance the growth of microalgae in a raceway pond. The flow is assumed to be laminar and the Han model describing the dynamics of the photosystems is used as a basis to determine growth rate as a function of light history. A device controlling the mixing is assumed, which means that the order of the cells along the different layers can be rearranged at each new lap according to a permutation matrix P. The order of cell depth hence the light perceived is consequently modified on a cyclical basis. The dynamics of the photosystems are computed over K laps of the raceway with permutation P. It is proven that if a periodic regime is reached, it will be periodic immediately after the first lap, which enables to reduce significantly the computational cost when testing all the permutations. In view of optimizing the production, a functional corresponding to the average growth rate along depth and for one lap is introduced. A suboptimal but explicit solution is proposed and compared numerically to the optimal permutation and other strategies for different cases. Finally, the expected gains in growth rate are discussed.

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