EN3 students involved in the “Algae Project” started the experimental phase n.2 of their Feasibility Study for the development of a pilot facility to capture CO2 and produce biodiesel from algae at Savona-Campus.
This experimental phase n.2 is devoted to
1) investigate the effects of low cost nutrients on the algae growth. In particular the students are interested in using wastewater as culture medium. They are using Chlorella in semi-batch double wall jacketed stirred reactors lighted by fluorescent lamps (particularly strong at the blue and red ends of the spectrum and thus ideal for promoting photo-biological processes). The algae growth is evaluated by testing both synthetic and real wastewater.
2) develop a monitoring/control system for remote operation of semi-batch stirred reactors. They are testing the use of commercial sensors of ph, conductivity and dissolved oxygen coupled with i) process microcontrollers by B&C Electronics; ii) DAQ + PXI + Labview by National Instruments. The controlled variables will be temperature (being the cooling water flowrate the manipulated variable), conductivity (being the nutrient flowrate the manipulated variable) and ph (by varying simultaneously nutrient and CO2 flowrates)