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MicrOLED-photobioreactor: Design and characterization of a milliliter-scale Flat-Panel-Airlift-photobioreactor with optical process monitoring

: Krujatz, Felix; Fehse, Karsten; Jahnel, Matthias; Gommel, Christoph; Schurig, Carsten; Lindner, Frank; Bley, Thomas; Weber, Jost; Steingroewer, Juliane


Algal Research 18 (2016), pp.225-234
ISSN: 2211-9264
Journal Article
Fraunhofer FEP ()
OLED-lighting; Chlamydomonas reinhardtii; additive manufacturing; optical process monitoring; Flat-Panel-Airlift

Small-scale cultivation systems with real-time-monitoring of suspension parameters are important for high throughput bioprocess development. This manuscript describes the design and characterization of a new photobioreactor (PBR) approach using 3D-printing and organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) in the design step. The structurally complex miniaturized PBR periphery was manufactured from polyamide using the selective laser sintering technology. The MicrOLED-PBR - the first Flat-Panel-Airlift photobioreactor (FPA-PBR) with a working volume below 20 mL - was equipped and validated with non-invasive optical sensors for cell-(microalgal dry weight concentration and chlorophyll fluorescence) and suspension parameters (pH, dO2 anddCO2) allowing multi parametric high-resolution physiological studies of microalgae growth at low photon flux densities. The OLED modules used in the MicrOLED-PBR were characterized with respect to their spectral photo synthetically active radiation efficiency (35.31%), maximum photon flux density (83 μmol m−2 s−1) and resulting photon flux density profiles across the layer thickness of the FPA-cultivation chamber (10mm) according to Lambert-Beers law (150 μmol m−2 s−1 for dual-plane external illumination). The hydrodynamic properties of the FPA-cultivation chamber, i.e. its volumetric oxygen transfer coefficient kLa (1.5–57 h−1), superficial gas velocity (0.8–42mh−1), mixing time (1.5–34.5 s) and gas hold-up (0.016–0.2)were comparable to those for laband production-scale FPA-PBRs at volumetric aeration rates of 0.5–5.0 L h−1. The application of the MicrOLEDPBR was demonstrated for optimizing the CO2 conditions during batch-mode growth of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii 11-32b. By analyzing the suspension dynamics in real-time limitations of dissolved carbon dioxidewere identified at a CO2 amount of 0.1 vol% whereas 2.0 vol% CO2 was identified as optimum conditions for growingC. reinhardtii 11-32b in the MicrOLED-PBR.