In the past, the supply of CO2 gas as well as the control of the pH had to be done manually. With this new system, which utilises LabVIEW (instrument driver), they can perfectly monitor the CO2 dosage in their pilot plant, and keep the pH at the desired level without too much effort. The best conditions for the algae to grow are in the pH range between 6.5 and 9.5, preferably around 8. This pH is similar to the natural alkaline habitat of the cultivated algae.
Read our blog about Algae growth
According to Radius, the accuracy of the mass flow controllers, the capabilities of the PID controller and the usability of LabVIEW makes Bronkhorst IN-FLOW mass flow controllers a solid and reliable system. Currently they are looking for an extension of the gas dosing system to monitor the outgoing CO2 flow, in order to be able to even more accurately monitor the CO2 uptake by their microalgae. This will provide enhanced insights in the algae growth conditions and an optimum between the CO2 gas flow supply and pH control in photobioreactors.
Moreover, in the future, two larger photobioreactors with a total volume of 1800 liters each will also be equipped by Bronkhorst mass flow controllers for the control of CO2 flow.