Modeling an Airlift Reactor for the Growing of Microalgae
Gustavo A. Lara1, Luis Moreno2, 3, Yendery Ramírez2, 4, Luis A. Cisternas2, *
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2018
First Page: 80
Last Page: 94
Publisher Id: TOCENGJ-12-80
Article History:Received Date: 14/5/2018
Revision Received Date: 4/7/2018
Acceptance Date: 28/8/2018
Electronic publication date: 28/09/2018
Collection year: 2018
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The flow dynamics of an airlift reactor for the growing of microalgae is modeled using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The model is applied to the operation and optimization of the reactor, giving a valuable picture of the liquid movement and carbon dioxide trajectory at different air injection flow rates.
A novel aspect of the model is that air and carbon dioxide are injected at separated locations. Air is injected at the bottom of the reactor and CO2 injection takes place in the downcomer region of the reactor to obtain longer CO2 paths, improving its transference.
The results show modeling is a useful tool in the control of the reactor operation; for example, in avoiding the sedimentation of microalgae or for detecting the existence of zones with extremely low CO2 concentrations.