Microalgal photobioreactors: Scale-up and optimisation

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Microalgae and cyanobacteria are a potential source of a wide range of high-value compounds for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industry. They do not only have the capacity to produce high-value compounds, but also the ability to do it using only sunlight, carbon dioxide and seawater. For many of the applications, monoalgal or even axenic cultures are required. This can be obtained in closed photobioreactors. In these systems, besides the main scale-up parameters, which are associated to all microbial fermentations: mass transfer, mixing rate and hydrodynamic stress, the light regime has also to be considered because light energy is the limiting substrate. However, these parameters cannot be controlled independently, as they are closely interrelated. Therefore, in order to maximise productivity, the whole process has to be examined. In this thesis, the characterisation of the most critical scale-up aspects of gas-sparged photobioreactors was done, with emphasis on light regime and hydrodynamic stress. Moreover a new optimisation tool for photobioreactors (A-stat) was developed.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Tramper, Hans, Promotor
  • Wijffels, Rene, Co-promotor
Award date12 Sep 2003
Place of Publication[S.I.]
Print ISBNs9789058088987
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • algae
  • dunaliella
  • dunaliella tertiolecta
  • chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • cultivation
  • bioreactors
  • photosynthesis


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