Algae farming

In recent years, microalgae have become a rapidly growing raw material for the production of biomass (biofuel) in many countries. In the meantime, however, it has been shown that important, higher-value components can also be extracted from microalgae for applications in food supplements (omega 3, etc.) and other pharmaceutical and medical areas. But uncontaminated raw materials of consistent quality are necessary for these products. Open water does not provide ideal conditions for this, which is why microalgae are growing more and more in closed systems of aquaculture.

Photosynthesis is the microalgae’s growth engine and to provide the necessary light, photo-bioreactors have been developed that offer the microalgae an ideal environment conducive to growth.
Since microalgae live in water, photo-bioreactors are water-holding containers whose walls are translucent.
In most cases, the most physically suitable tube design is used.

We supply PMMA (acrylic glass) tubes for such photo bioreactors.
Our highly transparent tubes offer many advantages, both technically and economically.

Advantages of our plastic tubes for use as bioreactors

  • We offer our PMMA tubes in a range of diameters from Ø30 mm to Ø500 mm and can produce lengths up to 10 m and beyond
  • The specific weight of PMMA is lower than that of glass by a factor of 1.9 (a tube with a diameter of 300 mm and a wall thickness of 5 mm weighs 10.33 kg/m in glass, but only 5.52 kg/m in PMMA)
  • PMMA has a high light transmission of approx. 92% and is highly UV-resistant without additional coatings
  • In addition, PMMA is approved for contact with foodstuffs and is resistant to many chemical cleaning agents and salt water
  • Experience shows that the surface of PMMA is not very susceptible to biofouling (deposition of substances on the surface of the tube)
  • Tubes made of PMMA are cost-effective
  • No coupling pieces are required up to a height of 10 m

Our special know-how

Vertically installed bioreactors require significantly less space and can economically produce large quantities of algae biomass using the energetically advantageous airlift process. However, the pressure on the tube wall, which increases as the water column rises, must be taken into account. The internal pressure is highest in the lower part of the water column and decreases in a straight line moving up the tube. For this reason, we have developed a complex process that allows us to regulate the wall thickness of our plastic tubes over the entire length. According to the static loads resulting from the internal pressure, we optimally adjust the wall thickness throughout the tube.
Our process allows the thickness of the tube wall to be adapted to the decreasing pressure load, allowing material savings of up to 25% while maintaining static integrity. In addition to a better environmental balance, this results in significant cost advantages due to reduced material costs and easier assembly due to the lower weight.
We have implemented many of these projects in recent years and have therefore acquired extensive manufacturing expertise for bioreactors and also have the corresponding equipment for the production of large and long tubes.

Get in touch – we are at your service to help you with our expertise and support you in the development phase.

Get in touch – we are at your service to help you with our expertise and support you in the development phase.

We will be happy to advise you – without obligation.
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