In brief:

  • Excellent construction quality (guaranteed clear PMMA, no leakage, FW or SW)
  • High output (strain/protocol specific, e.g. 1 bn cells/ml; > 5 g dw/L for Chlorella sp.)
  • Easy handling (movable, easy to reach top, cleaning, filling, harvesting)
  • Customised set-up (pH/T monitor; CO2 control; T control; tailored illumination bank)
  • Customized cultivation process (tailored cultivation protocol/training, after sales monitoring)
  • Warranty: 10 years for PMMA, 5 years for support structures, 2 years for instruments

Our current standard PMMA designs for hatcheries, Spirulina or other applications include:

Microphykos 150 L

Microphykos 25 L

Array of MicroPhykos 150C in a Mediterranean aqua farm

In customised designs the Microphykos unit could extent to practically any length suiting designs for large algae farms.

Microphycos also develops PBRs made of LDPH with same design but lighter and cheaper on one hand, and less robust and of shorter life-span (2-3 years) on the other. Productivities are comparable with the PMMA units while cleaning is as easy following a special protocol.

Main objective of Microphykos is to provide tailor-made intensive culturing systems for microalgae. Panels, horizontal tubes or towers could be developed with our partner Kelyphos Innovative Design Solutions, for certain applications suiting each client’s needs and resources.

The systems stand alone, indoors or outdoors, and could be equipped with artificial illumination banks (i-models), CO2 supplying unit (C-models), temperature control (plus-models) in any combination.

Every Microphykos unit consists of a flat-panel body (standard or custom dimensions) made of high quality polymerised meth-acrylate (PMMA, Plexiglas), highly resistant to direct sun exposure and highly transparent to solar irradiance available for photosynthesis (>92 %). The acrylic parts have been put together via a special technique (annealing) for impermeability and durability (10 years of guaranteed continuous operation). The construction is carried out by Kelyphos Innovative Designs Solutions a well-known manufacturer of private and public aquaria in Eastern Mediterranean.

The Microphykos systems are closed to prevent contamination, and include inputs for water supply, ventilation, sanitation and outputs for sampling and sanitation. All entry and exit points with additional cost may turn bacteria-safe.

Stirring of photobioreactors is carried out with aeration and use of specially designed internal air-lift. The air supply is via external air pump (blower) utilizing any existing installation of the host company with the addition of bacteriostatic filter in-line if necessary. The system is designed for low energy use.

The temperature control of the photobioreactors is done by utilizing the existing air conditioning system of the phytoplankton hall. The units may be equipped at an extra cost with a special cooling/heating system (temperature plus models) connected to an external thermocirculator or a heat pump (used for multiple modules connected in series).

Each Microphykos unit could stand alone on plexiglass stands or be mounted on a specially constructed trolley of anodized aluminium, resistant to lateral pressures suitable for any installation outdoors or indoors. The PBR may be placed easily on existing sites for culturing phytoplankton using the existing lighting/aeration installation. The wheel design allows access to illuminated surfaces, easy movement for cleaning, changing light bulbs and all kinds of supportive activity.

Each Photobioreactor may include individually pH-controlled CO2 supply system (C-model). In standard form it includes electronic controller, high-resistance sensors and solenoid valves. It may be equipped with temperature and pH data logging, electrical panel and electronic interface for communication and data collection (USB) or even computer assisted control and data logging via Wi-Fi connection. Equipment for temperature monitoring and pH monitoring and control are supplied from Kuntze Instruments GmbH (Germany) a highly acclaimed precision instrument manufacturer of industrial purpose electrodes (most hand-made). Its Zirkon™ pH electrodes are well known to withstand long periods submerged into saline waters working continuously with minimal maintenance. Neon™ touch controllers are leading edge measurement and control instruments with a range of functions tailored according to applications, guaranteed for long-lasting performance in IP56 protecting cases.

For artificial illumination Microphykos units may use existing installations with small modifications (tailor-made supporting structure) or may be equipped with individual illumination system mounted on its supporting structure (i-model). Illumination could be tailor-made to provide specific chromatic output ranging from solar PAR illumination to deep ocean blue.

Productivity of the system in typical protocol (could be tailor-made to suit specific hatchery purposes) is high and the output depends on the phytoplankton strain used. Normally all marine and freshwater strains could be cultivated in the system except for very fragile dinoflagellates for which it requires certain modifications at extra cost. Salinity of the media has no impact on the PBR’s body tested from 0 to oversaturation. Production data for Arthrospira platensis, Nanochloropsis oculata, T-ISO, Chlorella sp., Chlorella capsulata, Rhodomonas salina, Tetraselmis suecica, Chaetoceros gracilis and natural marine phytoplankton blooms show an average output of 2-3 g/L dry weight at 25°C, 150 μmol photons m-2 s-1, 12:12 h L/D which is doubled when CO2 is supplied at normal range (pH set to 6,5-7,5).

In volumetric cell density terms, the output of the system with Chlorella sp. (HCMR) exhibits the growth curve. Data for the graph were collected from 15 runs in a Mediterranean marine fish hatchery. Normal output is around 1 billion cells/ml (7 days starting very low with 30 million cells/ml) with observed values over that number at times reaching 1,6-1,7 billion cells/ml (8-9 days). Customised protocols could ensure a large steady daily supply of healthy and robust actively growing cells of 500-800 million cells/ml or small at 1 billion cells/ml.

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