Innovative technology for algae dewatering
This paper describes a novel technology for dewatering of algae for biofuel production and other applications. This hydrodynamic separation (HDS) technology uses customized fluid flow patterns in a curved channel to focus suspended particles into a concentrated band near one channel wall. A splitter at the end of the channel divides the flow into a clean effluent and a concentrate stream. The particle focusing is caused purely by hydrodynamic forces, which are proportional to the size of the particles, but independent of their density. This technology enables the concentration of particles with densities equal or close to that of the surrounding fluid without the need of a physical barrier, making it especially attractive for the dewatering of algae. Other advantages of this technology over conventional practice include: small foot print, low energy requirement, rapid process, and continuous flow operation. Added benefits include no moving parts, high scalability, high modularity in construction, and low cost in materials and TCO. This technology has been tested on many raw water matrices.
Volkel, A. R.; Hsieh, H. B.; Chang, N. E.; Melde, K.; Kole, A. Innovative technology for algae dewatering. TechConnect World; 2012 June 18; Santa Clara, CA USA.