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Optimization of a photobioreactor biomass production using natural light
Frédéric Grognard1, Andrei R. Akhmetzhanov1, Masci Pierre1, Olivier Bernard1

We address the question of optimization of the biomass long term productivity in the framework of microalgal biomass production in photobioreactors under the influence of day/night cycles. For that, we propose a simple bioreactor model accounting for light attenuation in the reactor due to biomass density and obtain the control law that optimizes productivity over a single day through the application of Pontryagin's maximum principle, with the dilution rate being the control. An important constraint on the obtained solution is that the biomass in the reactor should be at the same level at the beginning and at the end of the day so that the same control can be applied everyday and optimizes the long term productivity. Several scenarios are possible depending on the microalgae's strain parameters and the maximal admissible value of the dilution rate: bang-bang or bang-singular-bang control or, if the growth rate of the algae is very strong in the presence of light, constant maximal dilution. A bifurcation diagram is presented to illustrate for which values of the parameters these different behaviors occur.
1:  INRIA Sophia Antipolis - COMORE
Optimal control – Biological systems – Modeling