Webinar recording: Microalgae production in raceway reactors

Microalgae production in raceway reactors

Two major production technologies are in use to cultivate microalgae: tubular photo-bioreactors and raceway systems. This article is about optimising microalgae cultivation in raceways.

What are raceways?

Raceway ponds are open cultivation systems that today can have a size of up to 10.000 square metres. They offer a low-cost investment and operation for microalgae cultivation, but have a lower biomass productivity compared to other cultivation systems.

How to improve productivity of raceways?

Although engineers have improved the design and operation of the raceway reactors, scaling up and optimising algae productivity and production costs remain challenging. Advanced control strategies can help improve microalgae production. Such strategies must take into account all the major factors that influence the behaviour of the cultures in the raceway. These factors include light, temperature, nutrient concentration, pH and dissolved oxygen.

Models based on the understanding of how these conditions modify the microalgae culture can help to better control production facilities. For instance, simultaneous control of pH and dissolved oxygen can increase biomass productivity by up to 20%.

In outdoor cultivation, monitoring temperature and light is crucial, as they change daily throughout different seasons and affect the culture on a daily basis.

Webinar: Microalgae cultivation in raceways

Many equations and models have been developed that can be used to calculate the behaviour of a microalgae strain in raceways. They are interrelated and contain more than 60 variables. Due to this complexity, REALM scientists developed a tool  that uses these models to simulate the dynamics of the raceways.

Watch the webinar recording about optimising microalgae cultivation in raceway reactors. Learn about the factors that influence microalgae production in raceway ponds and the simulation tool. Or visit our YouTube playlist for information about microalgae cultivation in wastewater from greenhouses.

algae culture
algae culture