Microalgae growth modeling and control for a vertical flat panel photobioreactor

Michael R. Buehner, Peter M. Young, Bryan Willson, David Rausen, Rich Schoonover, Guy Babbitt, Steve Bunch
2009 2009 American Control Conference  
Microalgae have the potential to produce enough biofuels to meet the current US fuel demands. In order to achieve this potential, photobioreactors (PBRs) need to be developed that are efficient, scalable, and affordable. Models are an analytical tool that can be used to evaluate various PBRs. In this article, a dynamic model is developed for growing microalgae in a vertical flat panel photobioreactor (PBR) that may be used to measure PBR efficiency for various architectures independent of
more » ... ndependent of scale. The growth model is used to estimate the microalgae growth and byproduct production and consumption as a function of incident light. A feed-forward controller is developed that uses the estimated amount of CO2 consumed to determine the amount of additional CO2 to add to the system during photosynthesis. An overall controller structure that uses both feed-forward and feedback control is presented for growing microalgae inside a PBR. This work was supported by Solix Biofuels M. Buehner and P. Young are with the
doi:10.1109/acc.2009.5160260 dblp:conf/amcc/BuehnerYWRSBB09 fatcat:cytmwoibpzc3rnt5cnx3vupkva