Journal Article Optimization of Hydraulic Retention Time and Biomass Concentration in Microalgae Biomass Production from Treated Sewage with a Membrane Photobioreactor

Honda, Ryo  ,  Teraoka, Yuta  ,  Noguchi, Mana  ,  Yang, Sen

15 ( 1 )  , pp.1 - 11 , 2017-01-01 , Japan Society on Water Environment = 日本水環境学会
Treated sewage is a promising source of nitrogen and phosphorus in microalgae biomass production for carbon-neutral biofuel and chemical products. In this study, Chlorella vulgaris was continuously cultivated in membrane photobioreactors (MPBRs) under short hydraulic retention times (HRTs) and with different numbers of submerged membrane modules to investigate potential microalgae productivity when treated sewage was used as a nutrient source. Microalgae biomass concentrations were independent of HRT in MPBRs with one membrane module owing to microalgae biomass deposition on the membrane. Installation of an additional submerged membrane module effectively reduced deposition on the submerged membrane, resulting in increased microalgae biomass concentration and volumetric productivity. Growth kinetics suggested that HRT is the essential parameter influencing the volumetric productivity of microalgae under nutrient-limited conditions, and that optimization of the biomass concentration, which depends on the surface/volume ratio of the photobioreactor and initial light intensity, is critical to maximization of the volumetric productivity under light-limited conditions.

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