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Proceedings Paper

Spectral fluorescence signature techniques and absorption measurements for continuous monitoring of biofuel-producing microalgae cultures
Author(s): M. C. Martín de la Cruz; L. Gonzalez Vilas; N. Yarovenko; E. Spyrakos; J. M. Torres Palenzuela
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Paper Abstract

Biofuel production from microalgae can be both sustainable and economically viable. Particularly in the case of algal growth in wastewater an extra benefit is the removal or biotransformation of pollutants from these types of waters. A continuous monitoring system of the microalgae status and the concentration of different wastewater contaminants could be of great help in the biomass production and the water characterisation. In this study we present a system where spectral fluorescence signature (SFS) techniques are used along with absorption measurements to monitor microalgae cultures in wastewater and other mediums. This system aims to optimise the microalgae production for biofuel applications or other uses and was developed and tested in prototype indoor photo-bioreactors at the University of Vigo. SFS techniques were applied using the fluorescence analyser INSTAND-SCREENER developed by Laser Diagnostic Instruments AS. INSTAND-SCREENER permits wavelength scanning in two modes, one in UV and another in VIS. In parallel, it permits the on-line monitoring and rapid analysis of both water quality and phytoplankton status without prior treatment of the sample. Considering that different contaminants and microalgae features (density, status etc.) have different spectral signatures of fluorescence and absorption properties, it is possible to characterise them developing classification libraries. Several algorithms were used for the classification. The implementation of this system in an outdoor raceway reactor in a Spanish wastewater treatment plant is also discussed. This study was part of the Project EnerBioAlgae (, which was funded by the Interreg SUDOE and led by the University of Vigo.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 August 2013
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8795, First International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2013), 879526 (5 August 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2028345
Show Author Affiliations
M. C. Martín de la Cruz, Univ. de Vigo (Spain)
L. Gonzalez Vilas, Univ. de Vigo (Spain)
N. Yarovenko, Univ. de Vigo (Spain)
E. Spyrakos, Univ. de Vigo (Spain)
J. M. Torres Palenzuela, Univ. de Vigo (Spain)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8795:
First International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2013)
Diofantos G. Hadjimitsis; Kyriacos Themistocleous; Silas Michaelides; George Papadavid, Editor(s)

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