Efficient photosynthetic light harvesting came into the spotlight due to the growing concerns on global energy crisis. However, non-uniform distribution of light in photobioreactor is one of major challenges for efficient photosynthetic light harvesting. We developed an integrated photobioreactor with optical excitation membranes (iPOEMs) by creating uniform optical antennas and scattering network in a flexible membrane. We demonstrated that iPOEMs are stable under temperature change (>80 ⁰C and <0 ⁰C) or illumination of intensive light (>50 mW/cm2). We developed iPOEMs with pillar structures for uniform light distribution and selective scattering of blue (c.a. 380-440 nm) and red light (c.a. 640-680 nm) to facilitate growth of microalgae and avoid the photoinhibiton of photosynthesis. We obtained the enhanced growth of microalgae in high population by using the iPOEMs with pillar structures. We believe our iPOEMs will shed new light on the accomplishment of efficient photosynthetic light harvesting.
Project end date: 08/26/15