Abstract: This paper describes an interactive virtual laboratory for experimenting with an outdoor tubular photobioreactor (henceforth PBR for short). This virtual laboratory it makes possible to: (a) accurately reproduce the structure of a real plant (the PBR designed and built by the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Almería, Spain); (b) simulate a generic tubular PBR by changing the PBR geometry; (c) simulate the effects of changing different operating parameters such as the conditions of the culture (pH, biomass concentration, dissolved O2, inyected CO2, etc.); (d) simulate the PBR in its environmental context; it is possible to change the geographic location of the system or the solar irradiation profile; (e) apply different control strategies to adjust different variables such as the CO2 injection, culture circulation rate or culture temperature in order to maximize the biomass production; (f) simulate the harvesting. In this way, users can learn in an intuitive way how productivity is affected by any change in the design. It facilitates the learning of how to manipulate essential variables for microalgae growth to design an optimal PBR. The simulator has been developed with Easy Java Simulations, a freeware open-source tool developed in Java, specifically designed for the creation of interactive dynamic simulations.
Keywords: photobioreactors; biocontrol; biotechnology; laboratory education; simulators; interactive programs; modeling; Java
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Dormido, R.; Sánchez, J.; Duro, N.; Dormido-Canto, S.; Guinaldo, M.; Dormido, S. An Interactive Tool for Outdoor Computer Controlled Cultivation of Microalgae in a Tubular Photobioreactor System. Sensors 2014, 14, 4466-4483.
Dormido R, Sánchez J, Duro N, Dormido-Canto S, Guinaldo M, Dormido S. An Interactive Tool for Outdoor Computer Controlled Cultivation of Microalgae in a Tubular Photobioreactor System. Sensors. 2014; 14(3):4466-4483.
Dormido, Raquel; Sánchez, José; Duro, Natividad; Dormido-Canto, Sebastián; Guinaldo, María; Dormido, Sebastián. 2014. "An Interactive Tool for Outdoor Computer Controlled Cultivation of Microalgae in a Tubular Photobioreactor System." Sensors 14, no. 3: 4466-4483.