Abstract: A novel, laboratory-scale, membrane-based photo bioreactor was used to investigate the feasibility of CO2 removal from flue gas of coal-fired power plants using the photosynthetic conversion of CO2 in terms of algal biomass productivity (g m-2 day-1). The experiments employed atmospheric CO2 and CO2-enriched air concentrations of 0.5% and 10% under light intensities of 75±10 µmol m-2 s-1, with gas and water temperatures of 50±3 °C. An initial mass of thermophilic cyanobacterial was grown on a 2’x1’ vertical growth surface for a 16-day period. The culture media flowed vertically down the growth surfaces while a CO2-enriched air stream was circulated horizontally across and parallel to the surfaces. The productivities of algal biomass growth in atmospheric CO2, 0.5% and 10% CO2 were approximately 1.20, 1.82, and 1.86 g m-2 day-1, respectively. The result showed insignificant difference in gained algal biomass between 0.5% and 10% CO2.
Keywords: membrane-based photo bioreactor, photosynthetic conversion, thermophilic cyanobacterial, algal biomass productivity, culture media, growth surfaces