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Department of Informatics / Automatic, Robotics and Mechatronics research group

Modeling, control and optimization of microalgae-based processes

Here, contributions realted to modelling, control and optimization of large-scale photobioreactors for microalgae cultivation are presented. The main objective is to obtain adequate modelling and control approaches to contribute in better reproducible conditions with competitive market costs by analysing/simulating new photobioreactor designs, compensating for the permanent non-stationary behaviour of the processs, the presence of disturbances, taking advantage of nutrients provided by wastewater to the culture (mainly carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and phosphorous), removing any toxic metabolic products (e.g. CO2 mitigation), and controlling important internal cellular parameters (e.g. temperature, pH), in order to optimize the biomass production. The contributions presented here are thanks to a strong collaboration with the group of Francisco Gabriel Acien and collaborators.


More information about the facitlities can be found in [Link1] [Link2]

Tools and simulators



  • J.M. Romero-Garcia, J.L. Guzman, J.C. Moreno, F.G. Acien, J.M. Fernandez. Filtered Smith Predictor to control pH during enzymatic hydrolysis of microalgae to produce L-aminoacids concentrates. Chemical Engineering Science, 82, 121-131, 2012
  • I. Fernandez, F.G. Acien, J.M. Fernandez, J.L. Guzman, J.J. Magan, M. Berenguel. Dynamic model of microalgal production in tubular photobioreactors. Bioresource Technology, 126, 172-181, 2012.
  • A. Pawlowski, I. Fernandez, J. L. Guzman, M. Berenguel, F.G. Acien, J.E. Normey-Rico. Event-Based Predictive Control of pH in Tubular Photobioreactors. Computers & Chemical Engineering, 65, 28-39, 2014.
  • I. Fernandez, F.G. Acien, M. Berenguel, J. L. Guzman, G.A. Andrade, D.J. Pagano. A Lumped Parameter Chemical-Physical Model for Tubular Photobioreactors. Chemical Engineering Science, 112, 116-129, 2014.
  • A. Pawlowski, J. L. Mendoza, J. L. Guzman, M. Berenguel, F.G. Acien, S. Dormido. Effective utilization of flue gases in raceway reactor with event-based pH control for microalgae culture. Bioresource Technology, 170, 1-9, 2014.
  • I. Fernandez, F.G. Acien, M. Berenguel, J. L. Guzman. First principles model of a Tubular Photobio- reactor for Microalgal Production. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 53 (27), 11121-11136, 2014.
  • A. Pawlowski, J. L. Mendoza, J. L. Guzman, M. Berenguel, F.G. Acien, S. Dormido. Selective pH and dissolved oxygen control strategy for a raceway reactor within an event-based approach. Control Engineering Practice, 44, 209-218, 2015.
  • G.A. de Andrade, D.J. Pagano, J. L. Guzman, M. Berenguel, I. Fernandez, F.G. Acien. Distributed Sliding Mode Control of pH in Tubular Photobioreactors. IEEE Transaction on Control Systems Technologoy, 24(4), 1160-1173 , 2016.
  • G.A. de Andrade, M. Berenguel, J. L. Guzman, D.J. Pagano, F.G. Acien. Optimization of biomass production in outdoor tubular photobioreactors. Journal of Process Control, 37, 58-69, 2016.
  • I. Fernandez, F.G. Acien, J. L. Guzman, M. Berenguel, J.L. Mendoza. Dynamic model of an industrial raceway reactor for microalgae production. Algal Research, 17, 67-78, 2016.
  • I. Fernandez, M. Berenguel, J. L. Guzman, F.G. Acien, G.A. Andrade, D.J. Pagano. Hierarchical control for microalgae biomass production in photobiorreactors. Control Engineering Practice, 54, 246- 255, 2016.
  • A. Pawlowski, J. L. Guzman, M. Berenguel, F.G. Acien, S. Dormido. Application of Predictive Feed- forward Compensator to Microalgae Production in a Raceway Reactor: A Simulation Study. Energies, 11, 1-17, 2018.
  • M. Barcelo-Villalobos, J. L. Guzman, I. Martin, J. Sanchez, F.G. Acien. Analysis of mass transfer capacity in raceway reactors. Algal Research, 35, 91-97, 2018.
  • F. Garcia-Manas J. L. Guzman, M. Berenguel, F.G. Acien. Biomass estimation of an industrial raceway photobioreactor using an extended Kalman filter and a dynamic model for microalgae production. Algal Research, 37, 103-114, 2019.
  • M. Barcelo-Villalobos, P. Fernandez-del Olmo, J. L. Guzman, J. M. Fernandez-Sevilla, F.G. Acien. Evaluation of photosynthetic light integration by microalgae in a pilot-scale raceway reactor. Biore- source Technology, 280, 404-411, 2019.
  • J.J. Carreno-Zagarra, J. L. Guzman, J. C. Moreno, R. Villamizar. Linear Active Disturbance Rejection Control for a Raceway Photobioreactor. Control Engineering Practice, 85, 271-279, 2019.
  • E. Rodriguez-Miranda, M. Beschi, J. L. Guzman, M. Berenguel, A. Visioli. Daytime/Nighttime Event- Based PI Control for the pH of a Microalgae Raceway Reactor. Proceses, 7(5), 1-16, 2019.
  • A. Hoyo, J. C. Moreno, J. L. Guzman, F. Rodriguez. Robust QFT-Based Feedback Linearization Controller of the Greenhouse Diurnal Temperature Using Natural Ventilation. IEEE Access, 7, 64148- 64161, 2019.
  • E. Rodriguez-Miranda, J. L. Guzman, M. Berenguel, F.G. Acien and A. Visioli. Diurnal and nocturnal pH control in microalgae raceway reactors by combining classical and event-based control approaches. Water Science and Technology, 82(6), 1155–1165. 2020.
  • E. Rodriguez-Miranda, F.G. Acien, J. L. Guzman, M. Berenguel and A. Visioli. A new model to analyze the temperature effect on the microalgae performance at large scale raceway reactors. Biotech- nology and Bioengineering, 877-889, 118(2), 2021.
  • E. Rodriguez-Miranda, J. L. Guzman, F.G. Acien, M. Berenguel and A. Visioli. Indirect regulation of temperature in raceway reactors by optimal management of culture depth. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 1186-1198, 118(3), 2021.
  • J. L. Guzman, F. G. Acien, and M. Berenguel. Modelado y control de la producción de microalgas en fotobiorreactores industriales. Revista Iberoamericana de Automática e Informática industrial, 18(1), 1-18. 2021.
  • A. Sanchez-Zurano, E. Rodriguez-Miranda, J. L. Guzman, F. G. Acien, J.M. Fernandez-Sevilla and E. Molina. ABACO: A new model of microalgae-bacteria consortia for biological treatment of wastewaters. Applied Sciences, 11(3), 998, 2021.
  • J. C. Moreno, P. Mercader, J. L. Guzman, A. Baños and Per-Olof Gutman. Evaluation of an Inter- polated Controller in an Industrial Photobioreactor. IEEE Access, 9, 24406-24415, 2021.
  • M. Rodriguez-Torres, A. Morillas-Espana, J. L. Guzman, F. G. Acien. Modelling and pH control in raceway and thin-layer photobioreactors for wastewater treatment Energies, 14(4), 1099, 2021.
  • P. Otalora, J. L. Guzman, F.G. Acien, M. Berenguel, A. Reul. Microalgae classification based on machine learning techniques Algal Research, 2021.
  • Ana Sanchez-Zurano, J. L. Guzman, F. G. Acien, J.M. Fernández-Sevilla. An Interactive Tool for Simulation of Biological Models into the Wastewater Treatment with Microalgaes. Frontiers in Envi- ronmental Science, 9, 298-305, 2021.
  • A. Hoyo, E. Rodriguez-Miranda, J. L. Guzman, F.G. Acien, M. Berenguel, J.C. Moreno. A computer- based tool to simulate raceway photobioreactors for design, operation and control purposes . Computers and Chemical Engineering, 2021.

Research Projects

  • Modelling and control of the combined process of microalgae production and wastewater treatment with industrial reactors (CALRESI) - DPI2017-84259-C2-1-R(Website link)
  • Control and optimization for the biomass production from microalgae as renewable energy source (PROBIOREN) - DPI2014-55932-C2-1-R(Website link)
  • Modelling, simulAtion, ContRol and Optimization of photoBIOrreactors (MACROBIO) - DPI2011-27818-C02-01(Website link)
  • Sustainable Algae Biorefinery for Agriculture and Aquaculture (SABANA)(Website link)
  • A knowledge-based training network for digitalisation of photosynthetic bioprocesses (Digitalgaesation)(Website link)

Contact data

Prof. José Luis Guzmán

Department of Informatics

System Engineering and Automatics area


Ctra. Sacramento s/n
04120, Almería

Building CITE III, Planta: 2, Office: 2.16.3
Phone: +34 950 21 4133
joguzman@ ual.es joseluis.guzman@ ual.es

Actualizado por: José Luis Guzmán Sánchez


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