Recent advances in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling of photobioreactors: Design and applications

Panneerselvam Ranganathan, Ashutosh Kumar Pandey, Ranjna Sirohi, Anh Tuan Hoang, Sang Hyoun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The development of photobioreactor is important for sustainable production of renewable fuels, wastewater treatment and CO2 fixation. For the design and scale-up of a photobioreactor, CFD can be used as an indispensable tool. The present study reviews the recent status of computational flow modelling of various types of photobioreactors, involving fluid dynamics, light transport, and algal growth kinetics. An integrated modelling approach of hydrodynamics, light intensity, mass transfer, and biokinetics in photobioreactor is discussed further. Also, this reviews intensified system to improve the mixing, and light intensity of photobioreactors. Finally, the prospects and challenges of CFD modelling in photobioreactors are discussed. Multi-scale modelling approach and development of low-cost efficient computational framework are the areas to be considered for modelling of photobioreactor in near future. In addition, it is necessary to use process intensification techniques for photobioreactors for improving their hydrodynamics, mixing and mass transfer performances, and algal growth productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126920
JournalBioresource technology
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research was supported by the (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (Ministry of Science & ICT) (No. NRF-2019M3E6A1103839).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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