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Participant

Join Date: Apr 2010
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Algae Pumping

04/23/2010 12:12 PM

Hello everyone,

I am building a algal photobioreactor and I need some help.I am using a diaphragm pump to move the fluid.It is rated at 15gpm.The reason I'm using this pump is that it won't chew up the algae.I'm not sure if this is the proper pump to use because I'm getting quite a bit of fluid surge. Any ideas?

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#1

Re: Algae Pumping

04/23/2010 1:03 PM

Diaphragm pumps produce a pulsating flow. It's the nature of the beast. How about using a low flow, low pressure centrifugal sewage pump instead? Since they are designed to allow solid objects the diameter of tennis balls to pass through them without causing problems, they're not likely to kill your algae.

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#2

Re: Algae Pumping

04/23/2010 2:09 PM

A hemodialysis pump (the kind used in blood transfusions) can offer constant pressure at a constant flow rate, and with minimal possibilities of contaminating your project. However these systems are costly. www.medWOW.com has plenty of products that may help.

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#3

Re: Algae Pumping

04/23/2010 3:28 PM

You can fit a surge suppressor to the diaphragm pump discharge.

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#4

Re: Algae Pumping

04/23/2010 8:16 PM

Does this mean you just have to keep the fluid in motion WITHIN the reactor or that you want to pass the juice from the reactor into another container? For first alternative: the pump you currently have or a sewage pump. For the second, a SIPHON.

Depending on your project, you also may find what you are looking for HERE: www.marinedepot.com/pumps_index-ap.html

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#5

Re: Algae Pumping

04/23/2010 11:26 PM

Eliminate the pump, and pressurize the reactor. This will push fluid out. Pull a little vacuum, this will pull fluid in. Control the flow rate with pressure.

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Participant

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#9
In reply to #5

Re: Algae Pumping

04/24/2010 2:37 PM

Interesting idea.Let me explain further.The bio reactor vessel is slightly open to allow for the air lift inside to gas/degas the solution.The solution is circulated out of the bio reactor via a pump then thru a solar collector and back into the reactor.the pumping seems to be my biggest challenge,among many.The pumping mechanics of this solution shouldn't chew up the algae and I would like to keep the flow from surging.The problem with the surge suppressors that I've found is their inlet and outlet is only 3/4in,and I need 2in.to accommodate my plumbing.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Algae Pumping

04/24/2010 5:07 PM

Try to use the airlift to carry the algae to an open tank above the solar collector. It can gravity feed back to the main tank. Size the pipe so the air you have will move the algae. This won't damage the algae with mechanical force, and do your gas/degas at the same time. Lower the solar collector if you have to, to reduce head pressure on the airlift. As long as the solar collector is above the main tank, the fluid will return, even if you have to put the return below the waterline in the main tank.

You may have to experiment with the depth of the airlift pickup to get flow. I would start low in the tank.

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#12
In reply to #9

Re: Algae Pumping

04/26/2010 11:21 AM

The problem with the surge suppressors that I've found is their inlet and outlet is only 3/4in,and I need 2in.to accommodate my plumbing.

I am surprised that you can only find 3/4 inch. This range seems to go right up to 6 inch. There is an online specification and quote form.

http://www.blacoh.com/sentry1.aspx

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#6

Re: Algae Pumping

04/24/2010 12:42 AM

You may want to look at a peristaltic pump for your system. They are very easy to clean, and come in all sizes. They are reversible, and you can specify the composition of the inner tube.

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#7

Re: Algae Pumping

04/24/2010 7:41 AM

One or more air lift pumps with clear tubes would allow visible inspection and maybe allow the fermentation to continue. Cost lower than motor driven pumps.

Milton 720GUNBY(AT)GMAIL(DOT)COM

ps don't put that stuff in my corn flakes.

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#8

Re: Algae Pumping

04/24/2010 10:27 AM

Are you pumping to empty the vessel or are you circulating the algae to expose to light or just transferring?

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#11

Re: Algae Pumping

04/26/2010 5:26 AM

For use in a bioreactor I like the idea of using an airlift device. Alternatively I would suggest using either a peristalic pump or a progressing cavity pump (which is a also a positive displacement pump). Progressing cavity pumps also know as "PCP" provide a non pulsating flow and are very kommon for use in two-phase flows.

Regards
nudnik

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Anonymous Poster
#13

Re: Algae Pumping

04/26/2010 4:45 PM

have you joined the Oilgae Club ( http://www.oilgae.com/club )

Oilgae - Home of Algae Energy @ www.oilgae.com
narsi@clixoo.com

Seems to have pretty good information on this industry

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Anonymous Poster
#14

Re: Algae Pumping

05/17/2010 9:15 AM

Hello,

When you say fluid surge; are you talking about the pulsation effect caused by positive displacement pumps? Or, is this being caused by the algae being in contact with the diaphragm check valves?

I am not registered on this site yet, so if you would like to discuss this further please use the following email address:

joshua.baci@larox.us

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Anonymous Poster (4); DVader1000 (1); kalownaplumb (1); LG_Dave (1); mike k (2); morrie (2); r&ddoc (1); rlindey (1); Willfuel (1)

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