Raceway ponds, or “high-rate algal ponds”, of various configurations have been used to treat wastewater since the 1950s. They are also known as Oswald ponds after their inventor W. J. Oswald. Large-scale outdoor culture of microalgae and cyanobacteria in raceways is well established (Terry and Raymond 1985; Oswald 1988; Borowitzka and Borowitzka 1989; Becker 1994; Lee 1997; Molina Grima 1999; Pulz 2001; Borowitzka 2005; Spolaore et al. 2006). Raceway culture is used commercially in the United States, Thailand, China, Israel and elsewhere, mostly to produce algae for relatively highvalue applications. This chapter is focused on raceways typically used in the production of algal biomass and not in the treatment of wastewater. The engineering design, operation and performance characteristics of raceways are discussed. The biomass productivity of the raceways is assessed in relation to limits imposed by algal biology. The economics of algal oil production in raceways are discussed.
About the author
Yusuf Chisti is Professor of Biochemical Engineering at Massey University, New Zealand. Professor Chisti holds a MSc (Biochemical Engineering) degree from University of London, England, and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from University of Waterloo, Canada. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, UK. His previous appointments were with the University of Almeria, Spain; Chembiomed Ltd, Edmonton, Canada; University of Waterloo, Canada; and The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Nigeria. Professor Chisti has produced nearly 250 publications including a highly cited book. His research publications have received more than 6,000 citations. He is a senior editor of Biofuels and sits on editorial boards of 7 other journals. He received an honorary doctorate from Gheorghe Asachi Technical University of Iasi, Romania, in recognition of his many contributions to chemical and environmental engineering.
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