Open Pond Biofuels
Algae Cultivation in Open Ponds: is still the only way to mass produce algae products, however it's not without it's challenges.
There are 2 main pond types:
Algae cultivation in Open Ponds have had marginal success and are inexpensive to build, but are prone to multiple failures from many uncontrolled environmental conditions, ranked in order:
- Temperature and light differences – day and night, summer versus winter,
- Contamination from local algae into open ponds contaminating the cultured algae causing pond crashes;
- Evaporation, wind blowing dust particles into ponds and rain causing changes in salinity and pH, which affect growth of algae.
For the most part, algae cultivation in open ponds has been pioneered in the following shapes…
This shape is used mostly aquaculture and for production of Spirulina has a health food supplement. Used extensively throughout Asia, as well as the US.
This shape is not widely used in open pond biofuels cultivation. It isw however used extensively in the production of both spirulina and chlorella as nutritional supplents.
Raceway Open Pond Biofuels
Raceway ponds have been the mainstay of pond biofuels designs. Tested extensively during the 1970’s for the Aquatic Species Program, it is the most common design.
Raceway pond biofuel designs can be found through out the world. They are used extensively in the USA.
As a variation of the open pond biofuels system, the idea behind the closed pond is to close it off, to cover a pond or pool with a greenhouse-like covers of plastic or other similar, clear, material.
An alternative to open ponds built in order to address the negatives discussed above, are closed ponds where the control over the environment can be regulated better than open ponds.
Half raceway open pond, half bioreactor, these ponds are designed to get the best of both worlds. The environmental control of the a bioreactor with the production volume of an open pond.
You can get all the details about building and maintaining open ponds with the only book ever written on the subject. "Building Open Ponds" available by clicking on the graphic below.