Model-assisted DoE applied to microalgae processes
This study assesses the performance of the model-assisted Design of Experiment (mDoE) software toolbox for the design of two microalgae bioprocesses. The mDoE-toolbox was applied to maximize biomass growth for Desmodesmus pseudocommunis in a photobioreactor by varying the light intensity and pH and for Chlorella vulgaris in shake flasks, by varying the light intensity and duration. For both case studies, a mathematical mechanistic model was applied. In the first study only one experiment was necessary to adapt the mathematical model and identify a combination of light intensity and pH that improved biomass yield, as confirmed experimentally. In the second study, no well-established model was available for the specific experimental arrangement. On the basis of the literature, a mathematical model was constructed and a first cycle of mDoE was performed, thus identifying the desired factor combinations. Experiments confirmed the high biomass yield but revealed shortcomings of the model. The model was improved and a second cycle of mDoE was performed. The recommended factor combinations from both cycles were comparable. The mDoE was found to be a time-saving, cost-effective and useful method enabling the identification of factor combinations leading to high biomass production for the design of two different microalgae bioprocesses with low experimental effort.