To solve the problem of cost-effective industrial production of miocroalgae biomass, the vortex aquareactor was developed on the basis of previously created designs of vortex bioreactors.
Vortex aquareactors present an entirely new type of apparatuses having no analogues in the method of stirring.
Stirring of the liquid medium in the bioreactor is performed by the air vortex due to pressure differential above the liquid surface and friction of the airflow against its surface. A well-organized three-dimensional movement with a vertical component of the flow is created in the liquid medium.
The absence of a “stirrer” in the liquid provides mild, but very effective 3D stirring without highly turbulent and stagnation zones, foaming, water hammers, cavitation, the formation of high-temperature s. It has a high rate of mass exchange for the gas phase through the phase boundary.
The vortex bioareactor:
-is characterized by energy consumption of 0.3 Wt/L for mixing the liquids. This is several times lower than in bioreactors with a mechanical stirrer, which determines the prospects of its use in large-scale production.
-works without changes in its characteristics at 10-90% filling of the volume, which allows us to remove intermediate “starting” bioareactors at industrial production.
-provides stirring of viscous liquids and those with viscosity varying during the process.
The development was awarded gold medals at different international exhibitions. Industrial vortex bioareactors are used in Russia and abroad in the production of vaccines and other drugs, production of blood substitutes, in enzymatic hydrolysis and other processes.
This entirely new cost-effective method of stirring allowed for developing and patenting the design of the vortex aquareactor to solve the problem of industrial cultivation of microalgae.
A vortex aquareactor provides for low power consumption of only 0.25-0.27 Wt/ L for mixing, illumination of the whole volume of culture fluid, intensive interphase mass exchange of ÑÎ2, 3D uniform mixing of suspension without stagnation zones and structural foam breaking.
Vortex aquareactors allow the cultivation of any forms of photosynthesizing microorganisms including envelope-free ones, are cheap due to the use of film polymeric materials and are easy to manufacture.
Laboratory 5-7L vortex aquareactors and a pilot-industrial plant with a 500L vortex aquareactor were developed and manufactured.
Experiments on cultivating microalgae in laboratory vortex aquareactors were performed.
With non-optimized process parameters, the yield of 4.2 g of dry substance from 1L of suspension was obtained on Chlorella sp. strain.
Experiments were performed to determine the hydrodynamic characteristics and to cultivate microalgae in a 500L experimental vortex aquareactor (cultivation volume of 240L). Also, with non-optimized process parameters, the yield of 210g of dry substance from 1 cubic meter of illuminated surface was obtained on Chlorella vulgaris strain.
In a 500L vortex aquareactor, the hydrodynamics of the liquid motion completely coincides with the calculated one and has a well-organized and controllable vertical component of the liquid flow, which confirms the possibility of further scale-up of aquareactors to industrial volumes.
Cost effectiveness of production of microalgal biomass in vortex aquareactors is achieved due to:
1 high productivity of aquareactors
2 low production costs (electricity, etc.)
4 low cost of manufacture of large-scale aquareactors