Optical propagation analysis in photobioreactor measurements on cyanobacteria
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Biotechnology applications are nowadays increasing in many areas, from agriculture to biochemistry, or even biomedicine. Knowledge on biological processes is becoming essential in order to be able to adequately estimate and control the production of these elements. Cyanobacteria present the capability of producing oxygen and biomass, from CO2 and light irradiation. Therefore, they could be fundamental for human subsistence in adverse environments, as basic needs of breathing and food would be guaranteed. Cyanobacteria cultivation, as other microorganisms, is carried out in photo-bioreactors. The adequate design of photobioreactors greatly influences elements production throughput. This design includes optical illumination and optical measurement of cyanobacteria growth. In this work an analysis of optical measurement of cyanobacteria growth in a photobioreactor is made. As cyanobacteria are inhomogeneous elements, the influence of light scattering is significant. Several types of cyanobacteria are considered, as long as several spatial profiles and irradiances of the incident light. Depending on cyanobacteria optical properties, optical distribution of transmitted light can be estimated. These results allow an appropriate consideration, in the optical design, of the relationship between detected light and cyanobacteria growth. As a consequence, the most adequate conditions of elements production from cyanobacteria could be estimated.