In New York state, SCHOTT North America announced that its new oval glass tubes for photobioreactors (PBRs) increased maximum dry biomass output per day by more than 22 percent in its latest study in partnership with Heliae, a technology-driven algae production company. For the first time, SCHOTT’s round glass tubes were retrofitted with oval tubes in Heliae’s Helix™ seed PBR. An indoor study over multiple cycles in several months found that the algae growth rate per volume increased by more than 45 percent, while the oval shape reduces the total internal volume of PBR tubes by 15 percent compared to standard circular tubes resulting in the overall output-increase stated above.
The oval cross section increases the tube’s surface area that is oriented towards the light source. Therefore, more of the algal culture is reached by light, stimulating photosynthesis and enhancing algae growth. Furthermore, the final maximum culture density boosted by over 25 percent, enabled by more efficient light exposure of the algae culture.