Will a centrifuge pump kill all the algae?? I am building a system similar to this one and need the best pump that will not kill the algae.
I am searching for an answer to this question as well. Have you made progress in answering it? I know that spirulina is damaged badly by centrifugal pumps and that professionals use "small electric pumps" to agitate spirulina pond.
Spirulina forms very long strands, however, unlike the species used in biodiesel. My guess is that a "small electric pump" (presumably not centrifugal) would be perfectly fine for species such as high-lipid biodiesel-producing Nannochloropsis oculata that are single organ-entities and 10 microns or smaller. That an electric pump such as a common continuous-duty pond pump would be like a super fast water ride. That is just a guess.
Anyone with actual empirical information? Does a powerful water pump tend to slow or reduce algae growth? This is a crucial question for designing and planning algae-biodiesel farms.
Any help would be great!
haven't had a chance to try it out yet (rather new to the scene) but i do have some information that might be helpful on this issue.
depending on the strain you're working with there is shear tolerance, which may be really difficult to find... might have trial and error, but on a biotech journal i've seen 1 Pascal.
whether or not that's true, would be helpful if someone can elaborate further on this point.
also, it seems that the use of an airlift pump might be preferable because it serves a dual purpose, less stress on the culture & degassing oxygen concentrations...
It is possible to use a centrifugal pump for your algae bioreactor, however, be aware that it does raise the temperature of the water and can easily kill your algae. We've experienced this with our system, so there are a couple of things you can do for this.
1. setup a timer for the pump, 0.5 to 1.5 hrs on, 1-3 hrs off.
2. change the type of pump you are using.
If the reason you want to pump your algae is to get more of it to your light source then a centrifugal pump may not be the best solution. Eventually you'll have clogging from dense masses of algae and the whole pumping system will need to be dismantled and cleaned, again you run the risk of contaminating your algae and killing off all your hard work.
I'm using an internal directional pump to create flow within my bioreactors, even with this type of pump I use a timer to turn it on and off to keep the water temperature lower.
Hope this helps!
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