Published Oct 30, 2012


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José Luís Ramírez- Duque, Msc

David Alberto Marín-Quintero, BSc

Cristian Hernán García-Pulido, BSc



Industrially, the centrifugal pumps arevery useful and within their applications,it can be found pumping fluidscontaining living microorganismsin suspension. However, this typeof pumping can affect the growth ofmicroorganisms because it generateshigh shear stresses, which arenot supported by their cell walls,resulting in high cell mortality. In thisarticle, we analyzed computationallya centrifugal pump used for pumpingmicroalgal cultures in tubular photobioreactors.To do this, we modeledin CAD both the impeller and thevolute; and then we conducted a simulationin CFX under the operationconditions of a photobioreactor. Theevaluation of the velocity distributionand shear stresses inside the pump,led to conclude that it is impracticalto use these pumping mechanisms,due to the high mortality rate that isexpected for some microalgae species,such as the Chaetoceros muelleri; forwhich its viability can be reduced tolevels of 52%”.


Shear stress, Photobioreactor, Microalgae biomass, Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)Esfuerzo cortante, Fotobiorreactor, Biomasa microalgal, Dinámica de Fluidos Computacional

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How to Cite
Ramírez- Duque, J. L., Marín-Quintero, D. A., & García-Pulido, C. H. (2012). Evaluation of Microalgal mortality in a centrifugal pump of a tubular photobioreactor. Ingenieria Y Universidad, 16(2), 333.