Algae photobioreactor

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This is a collection of notes Steevithak maintains for future reference on an algae photobioreactor project. There's no particular order or plan here, just a lot of random notes and references.

Optimal algea growth is 5-20% full sunlight

Increased CO2 solubility in fresh water at lower temperatures

Freshwater algae species suitable for a photobioreactor

Documents and papers and random articles

  • [1], [2] - photos and paper related to a good reference design by C. Mouchtaris ([email protected]) for a photo bioreactor that grows algae using light and carbon dioxide.
  • Carbon Dioxide Capture with Algae
  • Biological Hydrogen Production
  • biophotolysis


  • David Bayless at Ohio University
  • Laurenz Thomsen at Bremen’s Jacobs University

Algae sources

Algae identification


Equipment needed

  • Dissolved Oxygen sensor / meter
  • Dissolved CO2 sensor / meter
  • PH meter
  • Microscope

Pond experiment notes for La Reunion

Solving La Reunions pond aeration problem will be a good way to start learning about the algae life cycle.

Algae blooms kill other pond life because as the algae cells die, they release carbon dioxide and absorb oxygen.

Increasing oxygen levels using aeration and mixing will push up the PH and displace carbon dioxide which the algae needs to grow.

La Reunion pond ToDo list:

  • measure PH
  • measure dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide levels
  • take depth and surface area measurements
  • measure light levels for potential to use solar panels
  • get algae samples and identify them
  • calculate volume of water and amount of aeration needed