Doctoral Dissertations


"Microalgae are fast growing photoynthetic microorganisms and it have very wide range of industrial applications such as biofuels and wastewater treatment. These cells can be grown in a wide variety of systems ranging from open culture systems (e.g., ponds) to closed culture systems of photobioreactor (e.g., airlift). The open culture systems exist in the external environment, and hence, are not intrinsically controllable. However, the microalgae production in enclosed photobioreactors faces prohibitively high production costs with special difficulty in reactor design and scale-up. The light availability and utilization efficiency in the photobioreactor in terms of design and scale-up consider as the major problem in this system. It has been found that hydrodynamics and mixing can significantly improve the biomass yield by enhanced the light use efficiency. However, the hydrodynamics analysis, and their interacts with photosynthesis in real culturing system is remain unclear. The overall objective of this study is to advance the understanding of hydrodynamics’ role in the photosynthesis and thus the photobioreactor performance. The local flow dynamics in a split internal-loop photobioreactor were study by applied a sophisticated Radioactive Particle Tracking (RPT) and advanced Computer Tomography (CT) techniques. Based on the findings, fundamentally based dynamic modeling approach is developed for photobioreactor performance evaluation, which integrates the knowledge of photosynthesis, hydrodynamics, and irradiance. Finally, Scenedesmus sp. was grown in split column. The biomass concentrations, flow dynamics, physical properties, and irradiance distribution of the culturing systems were monitored. Good agreements between the predictions by the developed dynamic model and the experimental data were achieved, indicating the applicability of the dynamic model in industrial interested condition"--Abstract, page iv.


Al-Dahhan, Muthanna H.

Committee Member(s)

Smith, Joseph D.
Forciniti, Daniel
Dogan, Fatih
Usman, Shoaib
Park, Joontaek


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2018

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Assessment of RPT calibration need during microalgae culturing and other biochemical processes
  • Mapping of microalgae culturing via radioactive particle tracking
  • Multiscale modeling and experimentation of microalgae culturing: Integration of dynamic growth modeling and hydrodynamics in an internal-loop split photobioreactor
  • Investigating the cross-sectional gas holdup distribution in split internal-loop photobioreactor during microalgae culturing via sophisticated computed tomography (CT) technique
  • Split internal-loop photobioreactor for Scenedesmus sp. microalgae: Culturing and hydrodynamics


xix, 251 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references.


© 2018 Laith Salim Sabri, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11438

Electronic OCLC #