Tubular photobioreactors (PBR) for microalgae production - Long term industrial operation of the world's largest closed PBR in Klötze/FRG

Martin Ecke and Jörg Ullmann

Roquette Klötze GmbH & Co. KG, Lockstedter Chaussee 1, D-38486 Klötze, Germany

e-mail: info@algomed.de

URL: http://www.algomed.de/


In 1999 the construction of the world's largest photobioreactor was started in Klötze/FRG after a test phase in a pilot scale plant (started in 1996). In the year 2000 the first microalgae of the genus Chlorella were farmed in the system.

The tubular PBR system consists of 20 independent modules with a total volume of about 600,000 liters. 500 km of glass tubes are arranged in a 1.2 hectare greenhouse.

During the production period from April to October approx. 50 to of Chlorella biomass can be produced. The process takes profit from the capability of Chlorella to growth phototrophic as well as heterotrophic.

Non-axenic mass cultivation of microalgae is limited by different biotic and abiotic factors. Applied microalgae research is performed to further optimize the technology and the process and to create products that answers the needs of the markets.