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A CFD-VOF based model to address intensive photobioreactor design

Olivieri, G; Salatino, P; Marzocchella, A; Mazzei, L; Lettieri, P; (2016) A CFD-VOF based model to address intensive photobioreactor design. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Multiphase Flow. The Italian Association of Chemical Engineering (AIDIC): Florence, Italy. Green open access

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Abstract

The design and optimization of photobioreactors for intensive microalgal cultures are key issues to increase process performance. A model to assess the photosynthetic performance of tubular, bubble column and flat photobioreactors is presented. The model has coupled microalgal light distribution, photosynthesis kinetics and gas-liquid hydrodynamics. A lumped kinetic parameter model of photosynthetic unit (PSU) has been adopted for photosynthetic reactions. The dynamics of a microalgal cell has been described according to the gas-liquid flow of a bubble column. The flow field induced by liquid turbulence and bubbles uprising throughout the photobioreactor have been simulated with ANSYS-FLUENT. A representative domain of the flat photobioreactor has been selected by adopting proper periodic boundary conditions. Turbulence dispersion fields have been assessed by numerical simulations for several bubble size. A random-walk model developed in MATLAB has been adopted to microalgal cells to assess the irradiance experienced by the PSU-cell in the photobioreactors. The photobioreactor performances - expressed in terms of global photosynthesis rate – have been assessed. Irradiance level and biomass concentration have been changed in the range of operating conditions typically adopted for known processes.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: A CFD-VOF based model to address intensive photobioreactor design
Event: 9th International Conference on Multiphase Flow
Location: Florence, Italy
Dates: 22 May 2016 - 27 May 2016
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.aidic.it/icmf2016/webpapers/pro.html
Language: English
Keywords: flat photobioreactor, microalgae, CFD, photosynthesis, random walk, VOF
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1477462
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