A Lattice Boltzmann Method for Light and Algae Simulations in Photobioreactors

Project description

In recent years photobioreactors (PBR) have shown that they can play a major role in the required conversion from fossil fuel to bio based products. With their help, CO2 neutral biomass is obtained for bio fuels or for the feed industry in large quantities and also high quality fine chemicals like unsaturated fatty acids and carotinoid. In order to compete with the traditional production, PBR lack of efficient application of the equally necessary and cost-intensive artificial lightning and mixing.


The project's objective is to predict the light distribution in PBR using innovative simulation methods and to analyze the flow field in photobioreactor with complex geometries. Based on the results, the design of conventional PBR is reviewed and new spongy PBR are developed.


First, an innovative three-dimensional light simulation in participating media was designed on the basis of Lattice Boltzmann Methods. In the next step, the simulation was calibrated in real PBR and used, see Figure 1.

Publications und Conference Talks:

Mink, A., Thäter, G., Nirschl, H., and Krause, M. J. (2016). A 3D Lattice Boltzmann method for light simulation in participating media. ''Journal of Computational Science.''

Albert Mink, Mathias J. Krause A 3D Lattice Boltzmann Method for Light Simulation in Participating Media (''Konferenzbeitrag''), 24th International Conference on Discrete Simulation of Fluid Dynamics, July 13-17, 2015, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Albert Mink, Mathias J. Krause A Lattice Boltzmann Method for Light and Algae Simulations in Photobioreactors (''Konferenzbeitrag''), PARTEC 2016 International Congress on Particle Technology, April 19-21, 2016, Nürnberg, Germany.

Albert Mink, Mathias J. Krause Mesoscopic Modeling and Simulation of Algal Growth in Photobioreactors (''Konferenzbeitrag''), 13th International Conference for Mesoscopic Methods in Engineering and Science, July 18-22, 2016, Hamburg, Germany.

Algae KIT
Figure 1: Light simulation in real photobioreactors with complex geometry.
Algae KIT