A Big Step Forward for Pilot Algae Raceways

MicroBio Engineering Inc (MBE) is proud to announce their new 3.4 m2 Algae Raceway®.  “Easy-to-clean was a driving factor during the design of this raceway” said MBE engineer Neal Adler, PE.  The HDPE raceway features a center divider that is integrated seamlessly into the tank for easier cleaning.  Typically, other small algae test ponds are assembled with center dividers fastened to the pond floor which invites unwanted bacteria to accumulate in hard-to-clean crevices.  The new RW3.4 Algae Raceway® reduces the time required for operators to clean the ponds after a harvest and quickly inoculate the next batch.  The raceway volume is 950 liters at 30 cm depth and comes standard in white HDPE with a UV stabilizer.  Food grade plastic is standard and it can be custom ordered in a variety of colors.

RW3.4 Algae Raceway Pond MicroBio Engineering

“The number one request we get from customers is to get a paddle wheel that’s easy to clean” says Process Engineer Braden Crowe.  In response MBE redesigned their paddle wheel to be a simplified clamp-on style, 316 stainless steel, four blade design which has almost no hardware.  The design reduces corners, seams, and hardware that make it difficult and time consuming to clean.  The clamp-on style allows operators to completely remove the wheel for thorough cleaning and sterilizing.  

Assembly is now easier than ever.  Two people can put the whole raceway together in less than 30 minutes.  The tanks can now be nested to decrease shipping expenses.

Paddle wheel for Algae Raceway Pond MicroBio Engineering

The RW3.4 maintains many of the same great features as the previous generation including the optional magnetic coupler between motor and paddle which is an added safety feature that is a great option for Universities or other educational purposes.  There is a flush 2-inch pipe fitting for complete draining, and 2-inch double sided bulkhead for standpipes for partial harvests or continuous operation.  The HDPE Stand is corrosion resistant and easy to assemble. The NEMA 4X single phase speed controller accepts European or US standard voltages

If you are interested in learning more about algae raceway ponds head over to our products page!

Ian Woertz MicroBio Engineering


Ian Woertz, M.S., P.E.


pH Control of Algae Raceway Ponds

pH Control of Algae Raceway Ponds

Carbon makes up about half of the dry weight of algae, so it is no surprise that carbon is the number one nutrient in demand for algae production.  While some types of algae can take in carbon from organic sources, when we discuss large scale algae biomass production, we focus on algae that take their carbon from carbon dioxide (CO2).  Atmospheric CO2 and bacteria cell respiration (more so in applications like wastewater treatment) meet this carbon demand to a point, but given a sufficient amount other nutrients and a comfortable growing environment (light, temperature, salinity, pH), algae need additional CO2 to maximize growth so that only sunlight is the limiting factor.

Welcome to the MicroBio Engineering Inc., blog!

On this blog we are excited to answer frequently asked questions about algae and algae biofuels, as well as share information about products and services. For example, did you know that MicroBio Engineering provides a full range of engineering consulting services to solve your municipal, industrial, or agricultural wastewater problems? MicroBio Engineering Inc., Principal Investigators Dr. John Benemann and Dr. Tryg Lundquist have over 60 years of combined experience solving difficult wastewater and nutrient problems for clients, and we look forward to serving you.

Do you have a question about services or a question about algae biofuels that you would like to see answered on the blog? Please contact us here and mention this blog. We are eagerly waiting to answer all of your questions.

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