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QUESTION 1 Algae for bio-oil (biofuel feedstock), pro-vitamin A and food supplement are some examples

of current application of this microbe. Make a short scientific and engineering review on this statement.

Algae for bio-oil or algae fuel is a biofuel made from algae. Algae also produce oil that can be harvested and converted into biodiesel or other fuels. Algae can produce 16000 liter oils/hectare per year [Ralph McGill, 2008]. Microalgae are promoted as a future source of transportations fuels primarily because of their stated potential to produce up to 10 times more oil per acre than traditional biofuel crop. Dry mass factor is the percentage of dry biomass in relation to the fresh biomass. If the dry mass factor is 15 percent, one would need 20 kg of wet algae to get 1 kg of dry algae cells. Lipid content is the percentage of oil reaction to the dry biomass needed to get it. If the algae lipid content is 40 percent, one would need 2.5 kg of dry algae to get 1 kg of oil. After oil is extracted from the algae, the algae residue is then used as an animal feedstock or as a soil fertilizer []. In the last four decades, the commercial production of micro algae that is rich in provitamin A carotenoids has been mainly focused on spirulina, chlorella, and dunaliella (Borowitzka, 1999). One of the commercial products of micro algae that are rich in provitamin A, Dunaliella salina is characterized by its ability to accumulate very high concentrations of β-carotene. Concentrations of up to 14% of dry weight have been reported (Aasen et al., 1969; Borowitzka et al., 1984). For commercial-scale production of β-carotene, or glycerol, one requires optimization of biomass production and product yield, development of a reliable growth system which can cope with the vagaries of weather as well as potential predators and competitors, a suitable, low-cost harvesting method and appropriated downstream processing methods. The carotenoid complexes found in algae are converted to vitamin A only as it is needed, thus minimizing the dangers of toxicity.


Sunlight is abundant. the dilution rate should be equal to the specific growth rate. pH. Some important features referenced are their ability to grow fast. There are some design parameter in the design of algae cultivation. temperature control. dilution rate and biomass productivity rate [Tarik Zebib. You may select any 1 strain of algae and gather its growth requirement data from literature (or make a logical assumption). specific growth rate. nitrates and ammonia need to be added to the culture media in concentrations suitable for meeting the demand of the algae. At steady state. Carbon dioxide is available from power plant emissions or gas emissions from the fermentation of ethanol.. brackish water and marine environments. 2009]. Nitrogen and phosphate could be available from sewage waste streams or other agricultural wastes [John Benneman. sunlight. Specific growth rate of an algae culture is directly related to the amount of solar irradiance received by the cells. Nutrients such as phosphates. nitrogen. Algae need essential nutrients which are water. be harvested on a daily basis and grown in earthen ponds or closed photobioreactors that occupy marginal or poor crop lands using salt or brackish water [Cooney et al. Microalgae is one-celled.QUESTION 2 Assess the conceptual design parameters and metabolic/growth requirements crucial in the design of algae cultivation. Temperature control is also of great importance for growing algae. The pH values of microalgal cultures were changed by the time from initial phase up to stationary phase depending on the algal species and the growth media. 2012]. The fluid velocity may be altered by adjusting the superficial gas velocity. for which algae growth slows upon reaching a certain level of solar irradiance. The culture will collapse at high temperature. Microalgae also have high water contents which is 80 – 90 percent [Sarmidi Amin. The abundance of water is debatable. The biomass productivity rate which is ultimately what needs to be maximized is the product of the dilution rate and the 2 . however. 2008]. 2009]. photosynthetic microorganisms that are abundant in fresh water. A major constraint on specific growth is the solar inhibition phenomena. phosphate and carbon dioxide to grow. 2008. Optimal pH values for photosynthetic algae have been reported at value between 7. These nutrients can be utilized from various wastewaters generated by different sources.5.7 and 8. Soha et al. The dilution rate is defined as the ratio of the incoming flow rate to the reactor volume. nutrients utilized.

3 . Botryococcus braunii has been shown to grow best at a temperature of 23 ⁰C.15 M NaCl. Gracilaria and many more. Blooms of Botryococcus braunii have been shown to be toxic to other microorganisms and fishes. This species have an abiliy to produce high amounts of hydrocarbons. thus causing Botryucoccus braunii to become more dominant. In the laboratory. Chlorella. a light intensity of 60 W/M2 with a light period of 12 hours per day and a salinity of 0. pyramid shaped planktonic microalga that is potentially great importance in the field of biotechnology [Wikipedia. A higher alkalinity changes these fatty acids into a form which is more toxic to other species. Thus. Dunaliella tertiolecta. There are many strains of algae such as Botryococcus braunii. it is necessary to maximize the biomass concentration while maintaining a high rate of dilution. the strain chosen is Botryococcus braunii which is a green.concentration of biomass at the effluent of the reactor. Botryococcus braunii is commonly grown in cultures of Chu 13]. In this design assignment. especially oils in the form of Triterpenes that are typically around 30-40 percent of their dry weight.

Data in Question 2 can shall be used here. Photobioreactor facilitate better control of culture environment such as carbon dioxide supply. Contamination by predators has restricted the commercial production of algae in open culture systems to only those organisms that can grow under extreme conditions. the volume of the non-illuminated parts of the reactor should be minimized. diffusion of CO2 to the atmosphere. mixing regime and other]. In order to attain high productivity. [oilgae. major limitations in open ponds include poor light utilization by the cells. evaporative losses. To prevent rapid 4 . optimal temperature. The ponds are usually kept shallow because the algae need to be exposed to sunlight. due to inefficient stirring mechanisms in open cultivation systems. lagoons. Contamination from strains of bacteria or other outside organisms often results in undesirable species taking over the desired algae growing in the pond. and requirement of large areas of land. As it is a closed system. The water in which the algae grow also has to be kept at a certain temperature. gas supply rate.QUESTION 3 Assess the design configuration for the currently used bioreactor for cultivation of algae. In order to ensure a high efficiency of light use by the culture. resulting in low production costs and low operating costs. The biggest advantage of these open ponds is their simplicity. their mass transfer rates are very poor resulting to low biomass productivity. close loop reactors. with CO2 and nutrients being constantly fed to the ponds. Bad weather can stunt algae growth. These bioreactors must include open pond. water supply. culture density. the algae. which can be difficult to maintain. efficient exposure to light. water & nutrients are circulated. and sunlight can only penetrate the pond water to a limited depth. while algae-containing water is removed at the other end. A photobioreactor is a closed equipment which provides a controlled environment and enables high productivity of algae. the design must provide for the uniform illumination of the culture surface and the fast mass transfer of CO2 and O2. Other than that. The major advantage of open ponds is that they are easy to construct and operate. Open ponds can be categorized into natural waters (lakes. ponds) and artificial ponds or containers. all growth requirements of algae are introduced into the system and controlled according to the requirements. The ponds are operated in a continuous manner. In these ponds. photobioreactor. However. pH levels.

photobioreactors must be frequently shut down for their mechanical cleaning and sterilization. For the industrial-scale production of biomass. 5 .fouling of light-transmitting surfaces of]. High rates of mass transfer must be attained by means that neither damage cultured cells nor suppress their growth. the energy consumption required for mass transfer and the arrangement of the light-receiving surface of the algal suspension must be reduced to its minimum possible [oilgae.

ancillary and recovery unit operation of your design in part 3. upstream. For this question. sunlight water algae slurry press algae centifuge CO2 mixer nutrients feeding vessel photobioreactor algae oil Figure 1 : Process flow diagram for photobioreactor 6 .QUESTION 4 Incorporate process flow diagram including the bioreactor. we chose photobioreactor process flow diagram as shown in Figure 1.

24th May 2013. Algae Oil Production and Extraction. tanks. John Benneman. Aasen AJ.oilgae. 6. Extraction of Bio-oils from Microalgae. 5. Ralph J Biotech 1999. 7 .REFERENCES 1. 1969. 24th May 2013 11. tubes. Borowitzka LJ. Michael Cooney. Act. Commercial production of microalgae: ponds. An extreme source of β-carotene. Eimhjellen KE. 70: 313-21. 2. 2008. 24th May 2013. 1984. Borowitzka MA. Hydrobiologia 116/117:115–121.wikipedia. Moulton T. 8. http://www. Chim. http://www. 9.oilgae. 23:2544–2545. and fermenters. 3. http://en. 2008. Grey Young and Nick 2009. Algae as a Feedstock for Transportation Fuels.html. Review on Biofuel Oil and Gas Production Processes From Microalgae. 7. Mass culture of Dunaliella: from laboratory to pilot plant. Borowitzka 24th May 2013 10. Sarmidi http://en. 2009. 4. Liaaen-Jensen S. Scand.