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Comparative Analysis of Hydrodynamics Behavior of Microalgae Suspension Flow in Circular, Square and Hexagonal Shape Photo Bioreactors

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Document pages: 17 pages

Abstract: Microalgaebased biofuel is an emerging natural source of energy alternative to the fossilfuel. As microalgae are photosynthetic microorganisms, light is one of the limitingfactors for its culture. Though many researches have been carried out forfindings behind suitable culture system for the proper growth of microalgae,those are confined only to tubular Photo-bioreactor (PBR). This paper aims tomake comparison among the horizontal loop photo bioreactors with differentcross sections based on the analysis of hydrodynamics behavior. Three differentgeometrical shapes having vertical cross sections of circular, square andhexagonal PBR, have been proposed taking into account light intensity formicroalgae culture. In this study, we simulate the flow dynamics of three typesof PBRs and discuss the velocity, pressure and shear stress properties asmicroalgae endurance capacity depends on them. For the dimension of the threePBRs we considered here, each of them have radius of about 0.05 m while thelength together with bending portion is approximately 20.5 m for a single loop.From the study, the hydrodynamic behaviors are observed to be quite dissimilarin case of three PBR’s. In the straight portion the velocity profile is quiteparabolic in tubular but distorted minimally in case of square and hexagonalPBRs. In the middle of the U-loop, a haphazard fluid distribution is noticed.The velocity magnitude and agitation of microalgae cells are higher inhexagonal than in square and tubular. The shear rate is less in case of tubularcompared to square and hexagonal. A linear pressure drop is found from theinlet to the outlet for three PBR’s. From this comparison, it can be said thatthe tubular one would be the best option for microalgae culture in case ofindustrial purposes.

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