Microalgal growth characteristics and subsequent influence on dewatering efficiency

Danquah, Michael K., Gladman, Brendan, Moheimani, Navid, & Forde, Gareth M. (2009) Microalgal growth characteristics and subsequent influence on dewatering efficiency. Chemical Engineering Journal, 151(1-3), pp. 73-78.

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Abstract

Dewatering of microalgal culture is a major bottleneck towards the industrial-scale processing of microalgae for bio-diesel production. The dilute nature of harvested microalgal cultures poses a huge operation cost to dewater; thereby rendering microalgae-based fuels less economically attractive. This study explores the influence of microalgal growth phases and intercellular interactions during cultivation on dewatering efficiency of microalgae cultures. Experimental results show that microalgal cultures harvested during a low growth rate phase (LGRP) of 0.03 d-1 allowed a higher rate of settling than those harvested during a high growth rate phase (HGRP) of 0.11 d-1, even though the latter displayed a higher average differential biomass concentration of 0.2 g L-1 d-1. Zeta potential profile during the cultivation process showed a maximum electronegative value of -43.2 ± 0.7 mV during the HGRP which declined to stabilization at -34.5 ± 0.4 mV in the LGRP. The lower settling rate observed for HGRP microalgae is hence attributed to the high stability of the microalgal cells which electrostatically repel each other during this growth phase. Tangential flow filtration of 20 L HGRP culture concentrated 23 times by consuming 0.51 kWh/m3 of supernatant removed whilst 0.38 kWh/m3 was consumed to concentrate 20 L of LGRP by 48 times.

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ID Code: 81543
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Dewatering, Intercellular interactions, Microalgal cultivation, Tangential flow filtration, Biomass concentrations, Cultivation process, Dewatering efficiency, Growth phase, High growth rate, High stability, Low growth rate, Micro-algae, Microalgae culture, Microalgal cultures, Microalgal growth, Operation cost, Potential profiles, Settling rate, Tangential flow, Algae, Biomass, Harvesting, Microorganisms, Porous materials, Steady flow, Zeta potential, Cell culture
DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2009.01.047
ISSN: 1385-8947
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 05 Feb 2015 23:43
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2015 03:22

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