The DOE Algal Biomass report process summary indicates that the algal growth phase is followed by an equal Angiogenesis inhibitor triglyceride accumulation phase, which would indicate a cycling efficiency loss of 50%. Coupled growth and triglyceride process would result in an approximate
20% loss (see Fig. 3; Sheehan et al. 1998) which we take here. Reactor surface reflection Any process using an enclosed reactor must account for reflective and refractive losses as light passes through the outward facing surface. A 15% loss is estimated for the direct process to account for PF299 clinical trial light reflected away from the reactor. The reactor is assumed to have two layers of plastic containing the organisms (an outer protective layer and an inner container), resulting in three air/plastic interfaces that light must pass through before reaching the culture. Each of these interfaces will result in about a 5% reflective Fresnel loss, assuming no antireflective coating is used. For the algal open pond, a single air/water interface results in about a 2% reflective Fresnel loss. Culture reflection According to Zhu et al. (2008), about 10% of the incoming PAR radiation is reflected away
GSK3326595 concentration by a plant or culture, with most of this reflection occurring at the green wavelengths. This loss is applied to all cases, including the theoretical maximum. Photon utilization Not all photons that enter a reactor are available for conversion. For instance, it may be too costly to maintain the reactor in a condition in which it can convert every photon, such as early in the morning and late in the day when solar radiation is very diffuse. Likewise, depending on how Clomifene the reactor temperature is maintained, the organisms may not be at optimal production temperature early in the morning. In addition,
at very high intensity levels, the organisms may not be able to convert all of the photons. Based on models that integrate solar and meteorological data with a thermal and production model, we estimate that about 15% of the incoming photons will not be available for conversion for the direct case. We assign a comparable loss to the algal open pond. Photosynthetic loss The main fractional loss in photosynthetic conversion results from energy-driven metabolism. Because the photosynthetic process is ultimately exothermic, the available energy contained in the product formed by metabolism is a fraction of that contained in the incoming photons. The remaining energy is dissipated as heat into the culture. For the production of alkane, we calculated that ~12 photons are required to reduce each molecule of CO2. Assuming an average PAR photon energy of 226 kJ/mol and a heating value of 47.2 MJ/kg for alkane, the photosynthetic conversion efficiency is about 25% (equivalent to a loss of 74.8%).