Automatized system for algae production

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Dr. Hamar János Krisztián
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

Today one of the most challenging issues of humanity is the combat against the climate change. Several regulations have been established about reducing the emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gas by the European Union. These regulations stimulated biofuel usage in recent years. Microalgae are generally recognized as the most promising solution for both bio-fuel production and industrial capture of emitted CO2. Unfortunately, economically viable solution does not exist currently on the market.

As a solution, the development of an innovative system has been started, which is able to produce microalgae cost-effectively, under completely regulated circumstances. The aim is to develop a modular, scalable, automatic biofilm reactor for algae biomass production, while it keeps the operational and installation costs low.

The system is fully automated by PLC control, thus the operators only need to push a couple of buttons on the operator panel, and the microalgae will begin to be produced with sufficient quality. There were several challenges during the development, and after overcoming them, eventually a useful, innovative biomass production system has been created.

The development work included, firstly the implementation of a laboratory scale system in order to monitor algae growth under different circumstances, and then the implementation of the pilot system. Both on the hardware and software side, there were some significant development work, which led the successful completion of the project.

Finally, the system has been installed in Spain, and the emerging errors have been detected and debugged. Considering the results, it can be said that the biofilm reactor works properly, thus the project objectives have been achieved. If further technical innovations will be realized as well, then the chances to increase bio-fuel usage all over Europe will be severe.


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