The search for a renewable source as an alternative to fossil fuels has driven the research on new sources of biomass for biofuels. An alternative source of biomass that has come to prominence is microalgae, photosynthetic micro-organisms capable of capturing atmospheric CO2 and accumulating high levels of lipids in their biomass, making them attractive as a raw material for biodiesel synthesis. Thus, various studies have been conducted in developing different types of photobioreactors for the cultivation of microalgae. Photobioreactors can be divided into two groups: open and closed. Open photobioreactors are more susceptible to contamination and bad weather, reducing biomass productivity. Closed photobioreactors allow greater control against contamination and bad weather and lead to higher rates of biomass production; they are widely used in research to improve new species and processes. Therefore, many configurations of closed photobioreactors have been developed over the years to increase productivity of microalgae biomass.
Part of the book: Biotechnological Applications of Biomass