A Membrane-Based Biofilm Photobioreactor for Enhanced Algal Growth Rates

Master's Thesis


In this research, a novel biofilm-based photobioreactor was proposed and evaluated. The reactor incorporated gas-transferring membranes at the base of the biofilm, allowing gas transfer directly into the biofilm. We hypothesized that CO2 supply through these membranes could prevent carbon limitation within the biofilm, prevent pH shifts and strip excess O2, leading to higher growth rates. Both 1-D and 2-D biofilm models were developed to assess performance compared to conventional algal biofilm reactors. Experiments were also conducted comparing both types of reactors. Results suggest the proposed system would lead to higher algae growth rates, especially when high light intensity is used. This process could provide a more efficient way to grow algae for environmental and industrial purposes. It also could enable efficient capture waste CO2 from power plants, anaerobic digesters, or other sources.


Attribute NameValues
Author Meenu Garg
Contributor Robert Nerenberg, Research Director
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences
Degree Name Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
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Submission Date 2019-04-07
Record Visibility Public
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