A critical review on designs and applications of microalgae-based photobioreactors for pollutants treatment

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Science of the Total Environment, 2019, 651 pp. 1549 - 1568
Issue Date:
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© 2018 Elsevier B.V. The development of the photobioreactors (PBs) is recently noticeable as cutting-edge technology while the correlation of PBs' engineered elements such as modellings, configurations, biomass yields, operating conditions and pollutants removal efficiency still remains complex and unclear. A systematic understanding of PBs is therefore essential. This critical review study is to: (1) describe the modelling approaches and differentiate the outcomes; (2) review and update the novel technical issues of PBs' types; (3) study microalgae growth and control determined by PBs types with comparison made; (4) progress and compare the efficiencies of contaminants removal given by PBs' types and (5) identify the future perspectives of PBs. It is found that Monod model's shortcoming in internal substrate utilization is well fixed by modified Droop model. The corroborated data also remarks an array of PBs' types consisting of flat plate, column, tubular, soft-frame and hybrid configuration in which soft-frame and hybrid are the latest versions with higher flexibility, performance and smaller foot-print. Flat plate PBs is observed with biomass yield being 5 to 20 times higher than other PBs types while soft-frame and membrane PBs can also remove pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) up to 100%. Looking at an opportunity for PBs in sustainable development, the flat plate PBs are applicable in PB-based architectures and infrastructures indicating an encouraging revenue-raising potential.
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