Photo-bioreactors: saving algae from turbulence!
Understanding turbulent flow of (dense) suspensions is one of the key factors needed in order to upscale and thus increase the productivity of algae photo-bioreactors. Many studies investigated the rheology of dense suspensions in laminar flows, as well as the dynamics of dilute suspensions in turbulence. We study dense suspension of finite size particles (algae) under turbulent flow conditions using a Lattice Boltzmann solver. Direct numerical simulations will be used to assess the level of hydrodynamics stresses on individual algae. The knowledge of the multi-scale statistics of turbulent fluctuations, down to the individual alga, is key to develop models necessary to up-scale photo-bioreactor, select algae strain, optimize algae productivity and reduce bioreactors energy consumption.