Simulation of photosynthetically active radiation distribution in algal photobioreactors using a multidimensional spectral radiation model

Bo Kong, R. Dennis Vigil*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

A numerical method for simulating the spectral light distribution in algal photobioreactors is developed by adapting the discrete ordinate method for solving the radiative transport equation. The technique, which was developed for two and three spatial dimensions, provides a detailed accounting for light absorption and scattering by algae in the culture medium. In particular, the optical properties of the algal cells and the radiative properties of the turbid culture medium were calculated using a method based on Mie theory and that makes use of information concerning algal pigmentation, shape, and size distribution. The model was validated using a small cylindrical bioreactor, and subsequently simulations were carried out for an annular photobioreactor configuration. It is shown that even in this relatively simple geometry, nontrivial photon flux distributions arise that cannot be predicted by one-dimensional models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume158
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Algae
  • Photobioreactors
  • Radiation
  • Simulation
  • Transport

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