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Nature as a role model – the so-called “Christmas tree reactor” from GICON
The GICON® Photobioreactor can be installed in several different climatic zones

Algae cultivation with the GICON® Photobioreactor

The GICON® Photobioreactor - also called the Christmas tree reactor due to its truncated conical shape - provides optimum light supply due to its geometry. Self-shading of algae is prevented and light incidence is maximized by allowing variable angles of radiation. The system is oriented towards pharmaceutical and food applications, which prefer tubular reactors.

Carbon dioxide and nutrients may be predictively added as a function of the growth rate. Against extreme temperature fluctuations, the innovative, geometrically-variable design employs a flexible, dual tube system. The adjustable temperature control allows deployment at locations in different climatic zones with clearly defined product quality.

Compared to conventional photobioreactor systems, the system displays very reliable operation with low maintenance effort. To minimize biofouling, novel tubing is used that was specially-developed for microalgae cultivation. As a result, the system is reliable and efficient, as the light penetration surfaces important for photosynthesis are not blocked by biomass deposits. The tubing material also provides effective protection against harmful UV radiation. Due to its flexibility, it is mechanically resilient and resistant to organic solvents, salt water, acids and alkalis. Last but not least, the reactors are characterized by low specific energy consumption and low maintenance costs.

Microalgae production systems with modular layout

Thanks to their modular design consisting of several reactors, the microalgae systems are expandable as needed. By interconnecting the reactors in combination as appropriate, the plants can be operated in a particularly flexible manner. The world's first and largest tubular production plant for microalgae in Kloetze (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany) with 20 photobioreactors and 700,000 l usable volume on 1.2 hectares was also planned and built by GICON employees according to this principle.

Advantages of modular construction and reactor interconnections:

  • Parallel cultivation of different species or use different process parameters
  • Cleaning of units without downtime of the overall system
  • Provision of backup cultures and cultivation systems
  • Integrated biogeochemical cycles, for example, by coupling with biogas plants
  • Utilization of on-site synergies such as waste heat or CO2

We would gladly integrate your ideas in our research and development work or together with our engineers develop customized solutions for microalgae production systems. Once your system has been designed, taking into account all location factors, we can support you during the permitting process and during the subsequent construction by providing supervision. At your request, we can also carry out microalgae screening, test productions, downstream processes and recyclable analytics for your algae strains at the Central German Biosolar Center in Koethen.

Industrial microalgae production plants by GICON are variably composed of:

  • Reactors
  • Systems for solid-liquid separation
  • Nutrient dosing systems
  • Cleaning systems
  • Piping systems
  • Process monitoring and control systems
  • Pumps
  • Heating-cooling units (optional)
  • Greenhouses (optional)