A membrane carbonation (MC) module uses bubbleless gas-transfer membranes to supply inorganic carbon (Ci) for photoautotrophic cyanobacterial growth in a photobioreactor (PBR); this creates the novel MCPBR system, which allows precise control of the CO2-delivery rate and minimal loss of CO2 to the atmosphere. Experiments controlled the supply rate of Ci to the main PBR by regulating the recirculation rate (Q R) between the module of MC chamber and the main PBR. The experiments evaluated how QR controls the CO2 mass transport in MC chamber and how it connects with the biomass production rate, Ci concentration, pH in the PBR, and CO2-utilization efficiency. The biomass production rate and Ci concentration increased in response to the Ci supply rate (controlled by QR), but not in linear proportion. The biomass production rate increased less than Ci due to increased light limitation. Except for the highest QR, when the higher Ci concentration caused the pH to decrease, CO2 loss to gas ventilation was negligible. The results demonstrate that this MCPBR offers independent control over the growth of photoautotrophic biomass, pH control, and minimal loss of CO2 to the atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5032-5038
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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