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Study of Light as a parameter in the growth of algae in a Photo-Bio Reactor (PBR)

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  034057,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13868) @2003
Authors:   Anil Kommareddy, Dr. Gary Anderson
Keywords:   photobioreactor, light penetration, algae, air pollution, animal waste, light absorption, photosynthesis, biomass, cell

A photo-bio Reactor is a system that provides an artificial environment for photosynthetic organisms (Algae) to perform a chemical conversion. Light is an important parameter in a photosynthetic process. Light is emitted both in visible and invisible wavelengths. Each wavelength is associated with particular quantum energy. Like all living things algae is favorable to certain wavelengths in the light spectrum. Certain wavelengths of light are converted into useful energy in the process of photosynthesis. It is important to investigate which wavelengths are important for the growth of algae in the PBR for achieving high yields. Different types of light sources with different spectrum were chosen for further experimentation. Time, light intensity and the algae antenna also control the photosynthesis process. Excess light even in the appropriate wavelengths will be converted in to heat and not used for photosynthesis. Light with wavelengths between 600-700nm is the most efficient for photosynthesis. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) with a peak weavelength of 643nm are the most cost effective light source if operation of the PBR is 1 year or more.

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