Technology for industrial production of microalgae biomass by means of a vortex aquareactor in order to produce biofuel

23 january 2019, 14:23
Макет, опытный образец
A company from the Science Town of Koltsovo (Russia) has developed technology for industrial production of microalgae biomass by means of a vortex aquareactor in order to produce biofuel. The device developed does not have disadvantages of other systems used for cultivation of microalgae, such as low productivity, chaotic mixing, algae injuring, covering light accepting surfaces with algae, etc. The company is interested in license or manufacturing agreement or joint venture.
Microalgae biomass is used for production of a large number of products, such as biofuel, medicines, antioxidants, dietary supplements, foodstuff, animal feed, fertilizers, etc. Production of biofuel is especially crucial considering the exhaustion of traditional energy resources (oil and gas) and the growing need for renewable and environmentally friendly and renewable energy sources and biofuels. In expert view, the biomass produced from algae has a much greater potential for energy generation in comparison to other renewables. According to the \"Working Papers of the Strategy for Biotechnology Industry Development in Russia until 2020”, up to 94 tons of biofuel can be received from microalgae collected from 1 hectare of water surface. For comparison, only 1.400 liters of biofuel can be obtained from 1 ha of rape and 470 liters of biofuel can be obtained from 1 ha of sown soybeans. In order to produce microalgae biomass in industrial scale various photobioreactors are currently used. Their purpose is to create conditions for intensive photosynthesis and cultivation of microalgae by intermixing. However, the existing devices and technologies have a number of disadvantages, namely: - light-accepting surfaces of reactors often become covered with algae and need to be constantly cleaned, which increases the cost and complexity of the construction; - mixing is carried out chaotically and therefore less efficiently, which causes high energy costs; - mass and gas exchanges are not fully controlled; - mixing causes much foam, which does not allow using the entire volume of the reactor; - when using pumps to circulate the fluid, the algae get injured; - when arranged horizontally, light-accepting pipes occupy large space. The proposed technology allows industrial scale production of any type of microalgae biomass. Vortex aquareactors stir liquid without dipping a mixing device into it. Vortex aquareactor is a covered tank made of transparent plastic with a specially designed activator mounted under top cover. The liquid, which is the cultivation media for microalgae, is placed into the tank and is subjected to mixing. Aquareactor can be stationary (mounted on the land) or floating on the water.

Innovative aspects

1) В вихревых аквареакторах перемешивание жидкости осуществляется структурированным воздушным потоком, без погружения перемешивающего устройства в жидкость. Благодаря этому обеспечивается: - эффективное объемное перемешивание; - возможность культивирования любых, в том числе и безоболочных форм микроорганизмов; - сокращение энергозатрат в 2-3раза; - оптимальные массообмен по СО2 и вывод О2. 2) Размещение аквареактора на воде позволяет: - использовать окружающую воду в качестве основы культуральной жидкости; - обеспечить максимальный доступ солнечного света, необходимого для эффективного фотосинтеза; - использовать дешевые полимерные пленки для создания крупнотоннажных аппаратов в связи с отсутствием разницы давления между давлением во внутреннем объеме погруженной в воду части аквареактора и окружающей жидкости. 3) Благодаря тому, что светопередающая поверхность находится над жидкостью, отсутствует ее зарастание. 4) Наличие зоны повышенной концентрации биомассы микроводорослей в аквареакторе позволяет снизить издержки на отделение биомассы от воды в 2 раза.