Cultivation Systems

Many cultivation systems for microalgae have been designed and built. The choice of a suitable cultivation system and the adjustment of the cultivation regime must be worked out for each individual productive strain. In every cultivation system, several basic features must be considered: illumination, circulation, and gas exchange (supply of CO2 and O2 degassing).

Two basic approaches to microalgal mass produc tion are used: the first applies to cultivation in open reservoirs large in area, while the second represents closed vessels - photobioreactors or fermentors. In this article, the term photobioreactor is used for closed or semiclosed systems using natural or artificial illumina tion. Generally, production from an open pond culture is cheaper than from a culture in closed photobioreac tors, but the use of the open pond is limited to a relatively small number of microalgal species. From a commercial point of view, the price of the final pro duct is crucial.

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