Microalgae, tiny photosynthetic organisms, have great potential for applications ranging from food supplements to bioplastics. Their production method, which converts light and carbon dioxide into valuable biomass, promotes a sustainable green economy.
Central to this is the photobioreactor (PBR), a system that optimises the growth of microalgae by controlling parameters such as light intensity, temperature and nutrient supply. There are open and closed PBR configurations, with closed systems such as flat-panel airlift reactors being preferred due to better control and lower risk of contamination.
Photobioreactors house the microalgae, provide light for photosynthesis and supply them with nutrients. During cultivation, the microalgae are exposed to light and use it and carbon dioxide to produce biomass.
Photobioreactors ensure consistent production, minimise the risk of contamination and deliver higher yields than open-pond systems. They support different microalgae strains and allow year-round cultivation, regardless of seasonal changes.