Separation efficiency of a vacuum gas lift for microalgae harvesting

Type Article
Date 2013-01
Language English
Author(s) Barrut Bertrand1, Blancheton Jean-Paul2, Muller-Feuga Arnaud3, Rene Francois2, Narvaez Cesar2, 4, Champagne Jean-Yves4, Grasmick Alain5
Affiliation(s) 1 : Stn Marine Port, ARDA, Le Port 97420, Reunion.
2 : IFREMER, Stn Aquaculture Expt, Lab Rech Piscicole Mediterranee, F-34250 Palavas Les Flots, France.
3 : Microphyt, F-34670 Baillargues, France.
4 : Univ Lyon 1, Ecole Cent Lyon, LMFA, INSA Lyon,ECL,UMR CNRS 5509, F-69621 Villeurbanne, France.
5 : Univ Montpellier 2, Inst Europeen Membranes, UMR CNRS 5635, F-34095 Montpellier 05, France.
Source Bioresource Technology (0960-8524) (Elsevier Sci Ltd), 2013-01 , Vol. 128 , P. 235-240
DOI 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.10.056
WOS© Times Cited 24
Keyword(s) Microalgae, Foam, Flotation, Vacuum gas lift, Harvesting efficiency
Abstract Low-energy and low-cost separation of microalgae from water is important to the economics of microalgae harvesting and processing. Flotation under vacuum using a vacuum gas lift for microalgae harvesting was investigated for different airflow rates, bubble sizes, salinities and harvest volumes. Harvesting efficiency (HE) and concentration factor (CF) of the vacuum gas lift increased by around 50% when the airflow rate was reduced from 20 to 10 L min(-1). Reduced bubble size multiplied HE and CF 10 times when specific microbubble diffusers were used or when the salinity of the water was increased from 0 parts per thousand to 40 parts per thousand. The reduction in harvest volume from 100 to 1 L increased the CF from 10 to 130. An optimized vacuum gas lift could allow partial microalgae harvesting using less than 0.2 kWh kg(-1) DW, thus reducing energy costs 10-100 times compared to complete harvesting processes, albeit at the expense of a less concentrated biomass harvest. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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