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.


These nutrients can be utilized from various wastewaters generated by different sources. temperature control. specific growth rate. The dilution rate is defined as the ratio of the incoming flow rate to the reactor volume. sunlight. 2008. nutrients utilized.7 and 8. Carbon dioxide is available from power plant emissions or gas emissions from the fermentation of ethanol. nitrogen. however. You may select any 1 strain of algae and gather its growth requirement data from literature (or make a logical assumption). The biomass productivity rate which is ultimately what needs to be maximized is the product of the dilution rate and the 2 . The culture will collapse at high temperature. Microalgae also have high water contents which is 80 – 90 percent [Sarmidi Amin. Nitrogen and phosphate could be available from sewage waste streams or other agricultural wastes [John Benneman. nitrates and ammonia need to be added to the culture media in concentrations suitable for meeting the demand of the algae. phosphate and carbon dioxide to grow. Nutrients such as phosphates.5.. for which algae growth slows upon reaching a certain level of solar irradiance. A major constraint on specific growth is the solar inhibition phenomena. Sunlight is abundant. Microalgae is one-celled. 2012]. Optimal pH values for photosynthetic algae have been reported at value between 7. Algae need essential nutrients which are water. Some important features referenced are their ability to grow fast. 2009]. The fluid velocity may be altered by adjusting the superficial gas velocity. 2009]. dilution rate and biomass productivity rate [Tarik Zebib. There are some design parameter in the design of algae cultivation. 2008]. Temperature control is also of great importance for growing algae.QUESTION 2 Assess the conceptual design parameters and metabolic/growth requirements crucial in the design of algae cultivation. photosynthetic microorganisms that are abundant in fresh water. The abundance of water is debatable. 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. Soha et al. pH. 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. At steady state. the dilution rate should be equal to the specific growth rate. brackish water and marine environments. Specific growth rate of an algae culture is directly related to the amount of solar irradiance received by the cells.

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

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

High rates of mass transfer must be attained by means that neither damage cultured cells nor suppress their growth. photobioreactors must be frequently shut down for their mechanical cleaning and sterilization. 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. For the industrial-scale production of biomass.fouling of light-transmitting surfaces of]. 5 .

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

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

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