Large tubular glass photobioreactors operate profitably since 20 years and new systems are under construction today. This presentation highlights the underlying reasons for the growing adoption of tubular glass systems by the algae industry. Tubular glass systems allow cultivations at high concentrations with high volumetric productivities. Production in closed systems is predictable and sustainable because of high bio- security and no evaporation of water. Glass maintains a high light transmission over many years of UV exposure. Glass has a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) certificate by the FDA. Its smooth and hard surface almost prevents biofilm formation and allows for easy, scratch free cleaning without causing production downtime. The high price of glass is a myth and the lifetime of over 50 years results in much lower total cost of ownership than systems made of disposable polymer materials. Finally, the presentation provides insights on the crystal-clear benefits of tubular glass photobioreactors.
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