Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 19, 2012
Previous Article Next Article

Slab waveguide photobioreactors for microalgae based biofuel production

Author affiliations

Abstract

Microalgae are a promising feedstock for sustainable biofuel production. At present, however, there are a number of challenges that limit the economic viability of the process. Two of the major challenges are the non-uniform distribution of light in photobioreactors and the inefficiencies associated with traditional biomass processing. To address the latter limitation, a number of studies have demonstrated organisms that directly secrete fuels without requiring organism harvesting. In this paper, we demonstrate a novel optofluidic photobioreactor that can help address the light distribution challenge while being compatible with these chemical secreting organisms. Our approach is based on light delivery to surface bound photosynthetic organisms through the evanescent field of an optically excited slab waveguide. In addition to characterizing organism growth-rates in the system, we also show here, for the first time, that the photon usage efficiency of evanescent field illumination is comparable to the direct illumination used in traditional photobioreactors. We also show that the stackable nature of the slab waveguide approach could yield a 12-fold improvement in the volumetric productivity.

Graphical abstract: Slab waveguide photobioreactors for microalgae based biofuel production

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 01 May 2012, accepted on 19 Jun 2012 and first published on 21 Jun 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40490G
Citation: Lab Chip, 2012,12, 3740-3745
  •   Request permissions

    Slab waveguide photobioreactors for microalgae based biofuel production

    E. E. Jung, M. Kalontarov, D. F. R. Doud, M. D. Ooms, L. T. Angenent, D. Sinton and D. Erickson, Lab Chip, 2012, 12, 3740
    DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40490G

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements