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    I've got a slightly odd question. For an engineering project, I'm designing a photobioreactor which provides optimum conditions for algal growth which could then be combusted.

    Whilst the engineering part wasn't a problem, I now want to calculate approximately how much energy I could obtain from the algae but I haven't got a clue how to do this. The bioreactor has a maximum capacity of 2.736dm3 and has a surface area exposed to the sun of approximately 1000cm2.

    The figure doesn't have to be absolutely precise so it's fine to assume that light penetrates equally to all parts of the bioreactor, that the intensity of light is approximately 150W/m2 (a rough figure for a European place) and that there are 12 hours of light per day.

    However, I don't know how much algae I could expect to grow in 2.726dm3 of water (assuming that the temperature is optimum and there is a fairly high CO2 concentration and enough nutrients), how long they would take to grow or how much energy they would release upon combustion.

    Could anybody help me with this?

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