algae bioreactor

algae bioreactor

Our experts were involved in the technology selection and financing of one of the largest algae production facilities in Europe. The demonstration algae production plant is located in the Netherlands. Together with a dairy farm and biogas company, we grow algae on the wastestreams of the anaerobic digestion unit and the Combined Heat Power units. The installation provides us with energy, excess heat, nutrients and CO2 from the flue gas. These are all necessary elements for growing algae:

  • Electricity for energy
  • Excess heat for heating of the water
  • Flue gas (CO2) as a carbon sulphate and nitrogen source

By using these wastestreams, we can grow algae in a cost efficient way, and contribute to the efficiency and the sustainability of the dairy farm at the same time.

LED supported photobioreactors

We have built a system consisting of four LED supported photobioreactors, each with a volume of 20 m3 and three High Rate Raceway Ponds. With a patented harvesting system, we use a low energy pre-concentration combined with a centrifuge. With this size we created one of the biggest operational LED photobioreactors in Europe! Our results so far are succesfully growing algae in a continuous culture on the excess heat and flue gas. We are currently experimenting with using the digestate as a nutrient source.

What is an algae bioreactor

An algae bioreactor or photobioreactor is used for cultivating algae on purpose to fix CO2 or produce biomass. Specifically, algae bioreactors can be used to produce fuels such as biodiesel and bioethanol, to generate animal feed, or to reduce pollutants such as NOx and CO2 in flue gases of power plants. Fundamentally, this kind of bioreactor is based on the photosynthetic reaction which is performed by the chlorophyll-containing algae itself using dissolved carbon dioxide and sunlight energy. The carbon dioxide is dispersed into the reactor fluid to make it accessible for the algae. The bioreactor has to be made out of transparent material.

The algae are photoautotroph organisms which perform oxygenetic photosynthesis.