Novel 3D-printed buoyant structures for improvement in flue gas CO2-derived microalgal biomass production by enhancing anti-biofouling on vertical polymeric photobioreactor

Young Joon Sung, Hong Ki Yoon, Jeong Seop Lee, Jaemin Joun, Byung Sun Yu, Ranjna Sirohi, Sang Jun Sim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Novel 3D-printed buoyant structures can be applied in various environmental processes because of their considerable advantages. Microalgae cultivation in photobioreactors, directly supplemented by industrial CO2, enables environmental pollution mitigation/cleanup and sustainable energy production. However, in photobioreactor systems, biofilm formation due to gas bubbling decreases microalgal productivity. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to develop a novel 3D-printed buoyant structure to suppress biofilm formation. The 10 mm-sized spherical buoyant structure reduced the height and area of the biofilm by 58.3% and 82.5%, respectively. The structure decreased space where bubble burst occurred and controlled the bubble size, reducing the overall biomass loss by 58.7%. It did not reduce photobioreactor performance noticeably during semi-continuous cultivation, indicating the possibility of long-term applicability. In large-scale outdoor microalgae cultivation using flue gas CO2, the buoyant structure improved the cell density and biodiesel production potential without contamination. This study provides a promising strategy to contribute to biological CO2 mitigation through the utilization of flue gas CO2 for enhanced microalgal production, paving the way for energy and environmental sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133030
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume366
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Sep 15

Keywords

  • 3D-printed buoyant structure
  • Anti-biofouling
  • Flue gas CO
  • Microalgae
  • Vertical polymeric photobioreactor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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