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Toward On-line Measurement of Algal Properties

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

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1009359.(doi:10.13031/2013.31995)
Authors:   J Alex Thomasson, Yao Yao, Yufeng Ge, Ruixiu Sui
Keywords:   Algae, bioenergy, biofuels, sensors, optoelectronics, process control

Algae is a potential source of large amounts of lipids for conversion to hydrocarbon fuels. Industrial-scale algae production requires process control, which further requires sensors to measure critical algal properties. One of the principal properties that needs to be measured in algae production is optical density. In this work an opto-electronic sensor was developed for the initial purpose of measuring optical density in real time in situ. A prototype was built and proved to be very accurate, with an R2 value greater than 0.98 when compared to laboratory OD measurements. The prototype also worked very well in a field test in which the range of OD values measured was limited.

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