New mechanistic model to simulate microalgae growth
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The prospect of treating wastewater and at the same time producing microalgae biomass is receiving increasing attention. Mechanistic models for microalgae growth in wastewater are currently being developed for new systems design as well as to improve the understanding of the involved biokinetic processes. However, mathematical models able to describe the complexity of microalgal cultures are still not a common practice. The aim of the present study is to present and calibrate a new mechanistic model built in COMSOL Multiphysics™ platform for the description of microalgae growth. Carbon-limited algal growth, transfer of gases to the atmosphere; and photorespiration, photosynthesis kinetics and photoinhibition are included. The model considers the growth of microalgae as a function of light intensity and temperature, as well as availability of nitrogen and other nutrients. The model was calibrated using experimental data from a case study based on the cultivation of microalgae species in synthetic culture medium. The model was able to reproduce experimental data. Simulation results show the potential of the model to predict microalgae growth and production, nutrient uptake, and the influence of temperature, light intensity and pH on biokinetic processes of microalgae.
CitationSolimeno, A., Samsó, R., Uggetti, E., Sialve, B., Steyer, J., Gabarró, A., Garcia, J. New mechanistic model to simulate microalgae growth. "Algal Research-Biomass Biofuels and Bioproducts", 01 Novembre 2015, vol. 12, p. 350-358.