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Boosting photo-biochemical conversion and carbon dioxide bio-fixation of Chlorella vulgaris in an optimized photobioreactor with airfoil-shaped deflectors

Highlights•An innovative photobioreactor with airfoil-shaped deflectors was proposed.•The airfoil-shaped deflectors optimized the hydrodynamic regime in the PBR.•The volumetric mass transfer coefficient of CO2 increased by 21.4%.•The optimal flow field increased the algal photosynthetic efficiency by 16.4%.•An increment of 18.3% in microalgal biomass production was obtained.AbstractAiming at ameliorating the poor hydrodynamic regimes and uneven light distribution in the conventional airlift flat-plate photobioreactor (AFP-PBR), a novel PBR with static airfoil-shaped deflectors (ASD-PBR) is proposed in this study to boost the microalgal biomass manipulation and hence the photo-biochemical conversion. The ASD module accelerated the circulation of microalgal suspension from the center to two sides with the help of bubbling so that the microalgal cells got more opportunities to access the light source. Compared with the control PBR, the solution velocity along the incident light direction increased by 114.8% in the newly-proposed ASD-PBR. Furthermore, the ASD module also served as a static mixer, which resulted in an increment of 11.5% in mass transfer coefficient and a decrement of 21.4% in mixing time. The amended hydrodynamic characteristics eventually contributed to an improvement of 18.3% and 10.9% in the maximum algal biomass yield and CO2 fixation rate, respectively.Graphical abstractDownload : Download high-res image (145KB)Download : Download full-size image


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