The problems of excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to combustion of fossil fuels and the indiscriminant use of non-renewable sources of energy necessitate the development and use of a clean and renewable fuel. With carbon sequestration growing in importance, microalgae appear to have the ideal characteristic of being the source of clean fuel. Oil price volatility can also be moderated to some extent by relying on other sources of energy, particularly from microalgae. Renewable energy in the form of sunlight can be used to convert wastewater into an ingredient for solving the problem of pollution.;The current commercial cultivation choice in open pond or closed photobiorcactors is investigated to design the most effective and efficient system. The mass-production system should also be able to accommodate future developments in the field of microalgae, and hence be able to support genetically engineered strains and allow for their selective mass production.;This thesis proposes a design that would enable the mass-production, in a factory-type facility, of microalgae to be used for the production of biofuel. Specifically, the system should have a small footprint to fit into a wastewater treatment plant site so that it may utilize the wastewater and nutrients present in it to cultivate oil-yielding microalgae. It also utilizes mirrors for enhanced solar input during the low-light hours of early morning and late afternoon, as well as mixers that continuously circulate the algae mass into the thin euphotic zone of the units.
【授予单位】The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.;
【学科】Alternative Energy.;Energy.;Engineering, Environmental.