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We present a modified model of algae growth in a raceway pond with the additional feature of variable pond depth. This requires an additional state variable to model depth as well as additional control to allow for variable outflow. We apply numerical optimal control methods to this model and show that the lipid yield of the process can be increased by 67% compared to that obtained with a fixed pond depth. 2020 Mathematics Subject Classification. Primary: 49N90, 37N25; Secondary: 92-08.doi:10.3934/jimo.2021027 fatcat:fquuyvjfizhanoonknjzeuozue