A Reactor element of a Bioreactor – an Invention !?

The present invention relates to a method of manufacturing a reactor element for receiving a mixture of liquid and phototropic organisms, including (but not limited to) (micro-) algae, the reactor element being part of a photo bioreactor. The invention also relates to a reactor element for a photo bioreactor and to photo bioreactor comprising a plurality of reactor elements.

Photo bioreactors are reactors in which phototropic micro-organisms, such as (micro)algae and bacteria, can be cultivated. The micro-organisms are mixed with a liquid, for example water, and introduced into the reactor. In the reactor, the growth of the organisms is stimulated by the addition of carbon dioxide (CO2) and photosynthesis takes place on account of the light coming into the bioreactor. In this process, various useful substances (biomass) are produced carbon dioxide in energy-rich compositions. It has been known for some years that it is potentially possible to produce biomass by means of photosynthesis techniques. The great significance of the capability of simple micro-organisms, such as algae, to use sunlight and carbon dioxide to produce complex organic substances while releasing oxygen, is also recognized. In addition to carbon dioxide, further nutrients are necessary to stimulate the growth of algae, such as phosphorus (P), nitrogen (N) and certain metals. When growing algae in a bioreactor, it is important to add a suitable amount of nutrients, such as carbon dioxide, phosphorus and nitrogen, to the mixture of algae and water.

The nutrients and/or the carbon dioxide are often already available in large amounts as these are, for example, discharged by industrial installations. The required light is normally also freely available, as daylight can be used. However, in certain embodiments artificial light can be used instead thereof or in addition thereto. It is also possible to add the nutrients to the mixture in the bioreactor separately.

Source: http://bit.ly/6OeyTb

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