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An analytical flat-plate photobioreactor with a spectrally attenuated light source for the incubation of phytoplankton under dynamic light regimes

An analytical flat-plate photobioreactor with a spectrally attenuated light source for the incubation of phytoplankton under dynamic light regimes

Hydrobiologia 434: 55-62, 1 September

An inexpensive and simple, analytical microalgal photobioreactor with a highly controllable, dynamic, spectrally attenuated light source is described. Spectral attenuation is achieved through the introduction of a variable thickness of CuSO4 solution between the photobioreactor and a light source. The level of liquid is precisely determined via a computer-controlled peristaltic pump, which can be programmed to pump at a variety of rates. The resultant light fields consist of a wide range of irradiance intensities with concomitant spectral narrowing, which closely mimics modeled clear water attenuation patterns. Irradiance dynamics associated with virtually any mixing regime can be achieved. The culturing apparatus of the analytical photobioreactor is based on traditional flat-plate, photobioreactor design, but with several modifications: (1) The light path has been reduced to 1 cm to assure a uniform light field is experienced by all phytoplankton at relatively low cell densities; (2) carbon dioxide concentrations are kept constant through a negative feedback mechanism that pulses CO2 into a constant air stream when culture media pH rises above a set point; (3) temperature is controlled in a similar manner, through the addition of cooling water to a water jacket in response to an increase in culture media temperature. This design is intended for use in photophysiological and bio- physical studies of microalgae under highly controlled culture conditions. It should prove easily adaptable to any number of more complex configurations.

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Accession: 010156236

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DOI: 10.1023/a:1004069808148

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