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Covered Ponds

Covering ponds with translucent membranes or the use of greenhouses overcomes this problem, allowing the more productive strains to be grown free of atmospheric contamination.

In raceway ponds, large contaminants can be removed regularly by placing a suitably sized screen in the water flow. Heavy contaminants that sink to the bottom can be trapped in pits arranged at right angle to the flow and can then be removed from these sediment traps.

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10 Responses to Covered Ponds

  1. narsi 6 years ago #

    I once met an entrepreneur in Chennai who mentioned that he had done something similar - putting a greenhouse type of covering on the pond. He perhaps did a bit more than that, but he claimed to get much higher productivities - 2-3 times as high as the traditional open ponds, about 3 g/liter...

  2. greenfeydakin 6 years ago #

    We have two raceways and actually found the greenhouse one got too hot and needed to pass "atmospheric" outdoor air to the greenhouse via fans and temp control. If you have a greenhouse with no heat transfer you will cook the algae. We have not tried Franc's membrane product though and this is interesting. Do you have any names or types of material? A semi-permeable membrane that allows gas transfer and light yet keeps moisture out. Like cellophane?

  3. fatalgae 6 years ago #

    With all due respect. Covers for ponds have been tried in the past. They still have daily contamination issues. The question is how much time you want to spend dealing with daily contamination?

  4. deefone 6 years ago #

    If contaminants are already present you do not have a contaminant free condition.
    Why do certain algae grow in very hot climes. Would not a PBR in a possible controlled UV building do the trick?

  5. getch22 5 years ago #

    covering the ponds will impede heat transfer, and if you introduce atmospheric air, unless you have HEPA filters, you will get contamination with covered ponds. Covers also evaporative loss. When condensation builds on the inside of the covers, you reduce the sunlight, and will reduce total yield. Depth of the pond will likely be what is adjusted to compensate. Storms , animals and debris can cause punctures, which can also be problematic. Not saying covering ponds is wrong,or not a viable solution, but there are many factors to consider to build a case for which method is more economically viable, as it all comes down to the bottom line.

    I've helped build greenhouse reactors, sheet reactors, pond reactors, floating bag reactors, tubular reactors, and have researched these methods extensively. My advice to you - decide first on the algae strain. If possible GMO strains for immunity to certain herbicides will benefit. This is done safely with crop systems. This can be done safely with algae. Unfortunately, the term "GMO" freaks people out, with justifiable reason.

    Once you have your strain selected, find the best growing conditions, if possible, with seasonality, decide on what structure is most cost-efficient for that region (i.e. open ponds in the south versus greenhouses in colder climates which may be mothballed on a seasonal basis). Try to choose a strain that is local to the region.

  6. harshithsirigeri 5 years ago #

    @narsi: I am going to chennai, would appreciate it you could tell me the name or how to find him.

  7. fatalgae 5 years ago #

    Even with covers over ponds you will still get contamination and low production levels. Many ponds crashed this summer and had comtamination. Funny - after General Atomics built raceway ponds in the US they filed design patents on vertical PBR's.

  8. bioreactor 5 years ago #

    This is right, in addition, artificial light sources and one controlled enviroment and photo periods also, they all implemented into the greenhouses, can enhance productivity and growing of microalgae.

  9. narsi 5 years ago #

    @harshithsirigeri - I will try to dig the name of the person in Chennai...he resides in a town called Alwarpet, that I recall, but I will try to locate his name and contact details as soon as possible...have not heard from him almost 2 years now!

  10. howardlee 5 years ago #

    excellent but still more problems are waiting to be solved

About Challenge - Decreasing Contamination and Increasing Algae Yields in Raceway Ponds

Decreasing Contamination and Increasing Algae Yields in Raceway Ponds is a critical challenge that could fundamentally change the economics of algae fuel production. Use this section to contribute on how we can solve this challenge, by debating, discussing, and answering questions on the topic. - view more

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