Open pond culture systems are the main type of culture system used in the commercial-scale culture of microalgae and because of their relatively low cost are the systems most likely to be used for the production of microalgae for biofuels. These ‘open’ systems can be broadly classified as shallow lagoons and ponds, inclined (cascade) systems, circular central-pivot ponds, simple mixed ponds, and ‘raceway’ ponds. The raceway ponds are by far the most commonly used. This Chapter describes these systems in detail as well as their advantages and disadvantages. The management of such systems to achieve reliable, long-term, high-productivity cultures is a challenge, especially on the large scale and the various options and strategies available are reviewed as are options for maximizing algae productivity
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