Technological development of microalgae culturing system

The ProfiKomp® Environmental Technologies Inc. and its consortium partner – HDH Engineer Ltd. – have started to co-operate and develop a microalgae culturing system  using 3D printed modular units with unique geometry. The project is involved in the ‘Research, development and Innovation’ grant sceme.

The technology we are developing is a microalgae culturing system composed of modular elements that can easily be scaled up for large-scale industrial production. During the research, such an experimental module will be designed and constructed. This unit is built from the most suitable materials for the purpose with state-of-the-art method, 3D printing technology. We can easily scaling up the cultivation to the industrial level by the simultaneous use of several of these modules at the same time. This means that we gain a marketable product by the development of our pilot photobioreactor. Our device uses passive solutions that significantly reduce the material and energy costs of the cultivation.

The development includes research in which we are looking for an effective solution for separating alga from water. This will be accomplished by designing, 3D printing and building a sedimenting and a solar drying equipment. The innovation in this area is the development of a technology in which the efficiency of settling can be significantly increased. This can be solved with specially designed guide vanes and lamellas that reduce the flow rate. The solar drying apparatus will also have a unique design and its main purpose is to dewater the cells with minimum energy consumption while recovering the evaporated water volume as much as possible.

The significance of the research is the development of an economically viable microalgae culturing system with automated control. Carbon supply of the system would be covered by the carbon dioxide content of flue gases, and thus the technology would be an emission reduction process in one. During the research we also examine the quality of the produced microalgae biomass. The purpose of these measurements is to gather enough information about the possibilities of utilizing the product in agriculture, food or fine chemical industries.

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