Author(s): Kim HW, Marcus AK, Shin JH, Rittmann BE
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Abstract A membrane carbonation (MC) module uses bubbleless gas-transfer membranes to supply inorganic carbon (C(i)) for photoautotrophic cyanobacterial growth in a photobioreactor (PBR); this creates the novel MCPBR system, which allows precise control of the CO(2)-delivery rate and minimal loss of CO(2) to the atmosphere. Experiments controlled the supply rate of C(i) to the main PBR by regulating the recirculation rate (Q(R)) between the module of MC chamber and the main PBR. The experiments evaluated how Q(R) controls the CO(2) mass transport in MC chamber and how it connects with the biomass production rate, C(i) concentration, pH in the PBR, and CO(2)-utilization efficiency. The biomass production rate and C(i) concentration increased in response to the C(i) supply rate (controlled by Q(R)), but not in linear proportion. The biomass production rate increased less than C(i) due to increased light limitation. Except for the highest Q(R), when the higher C(i) concentration caused the pH to decrease, CO(2) loss to gas ventilation was negligible. The results demonstrate that this MCPBR offers independent control over the growth of photoautotrophic biomass, pH control, and minimal loss of CO(2) to the atmosphere.
This article was published in Environ Sci Technol
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development