Industrial photobioreactor system design

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The algae biodiesel production process begins with mass culture of algal biomass in a photobioreactor, using nutrient-rich wastewater and flue gases from fossil fuel-fired power plant. Algal biomass harvested from the photobioreactor is used to extract oils. Algal oils are then converted into biodiesel through continuous flow transesterification. This process combines algal oils with alcohol in the presence of a catalyst to form mono-alkyl esters and glycerin. The mixture of esters, glycerin and excess alcohol can be separated by a continuous fractional distillation method.

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