Date of Award


Degree Type



Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Belovich, Joanne M.

Subject Headings

Biomass energy, Algae


Biofuel has been studied for several decades as a feasible substitute for petroleum, which may solve the energy crisis. Having a high oil content and growth rate, algae biofuels have received lots of attention recently, and have been considered as one of the most promising technologies to reduce the dependence of fossil fuels. In the process of producing algae biofuel, the dewatering process constitutes a significant part of the cost of the algae biofuel, impeding progress towards large-scale commercial use. An inclined settler utilizes gravity to separate algae cells from the fluid, with little energy consumption. The separation ability of a rectangular downward inclined gravity settler was evaluated with two strains of algae, Scenedesmus dimorphus and Chlorella vulgaris, which exhibit different oil content levels. The functional parameters of recovery rate and concentration ratio were used to evaluate the gravity settler's separation ability with these two cell lines. Experiments were operated to verify that the gravity settler system kept a steady and constant performance for larger scales. From the current experimental data, this gravity settler showed a stable ability in dewatering two strains of algae cells, at both small and large scale. These performances insured the possibility of a two stage gravity settler, which can significantly increase the biomass concentration, compared to that of the regular one stage