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DPI2014-55932-C2-1-R Project

Control and optimization for the biomass production from microalgae as renewable energy source


The main goal consists in reaching a near optimal environment for microalgae to grow, multiply, and produce biomass, together with an assessment of the balance between the requested energy to maintain an optimal microalgae growth, the injected CO2, and the recovered costs through biomass-biofuel. According to the nonlinear dynamics, and the complex and hierarchical nature of these processes, different control approaches will be evaluated to reach the proposed objectives. Event-based, reset, and fractional control approaches together with hierarchical model predictive control algorithms will be used to achieve an efficient microalgae biomass production in raceway photobioreactors. Moreover, nonlinear models, estimators and predictors of the main photobioreactor variables will be developed. Thus, the main objectives of the coordinated project are:

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Development of a modelling framework to obtain nonlinear dynamical models for microalgal biomass production based on raceway photobioreactors to be used for renewable energy purposes. The resulting models will be used for reactor design and control design purposes.

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Development of low-level and high-level control strategies (mainly event-based, reset, fractional, and model predictive control algorithms) for the optimal biomass production in raceway photobioreactors looking for reducing costs and being competitive in the energy sector market, and contributing at the same time in the mitigation of the environment pollution.

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Implementation and validation

Implementation and validation of the developed modelling and control strategies in different experimental plants with clear industrial relevance. Concretely, two industrial raceway photobioreactors will be mainly considered for this purpose.