This study investigates the effects of shear stress on photosynthesis in dilute suspensions of Spirulina platensis and Chlorella by measuring the oxygen production rate using a coaxial, double-rotating-cylinder apparatus that generates Couette shear flow. Our device enables up to 0.6 Pa shear stress to be applied, which has the hydrodynamic effect of generating the algal motion and acutely augmenting the oxygen production rate of Spirulina, primarily because the surface area of algae exposed to illumination is increased. However, there is shear-flow limitation on any increase in oxygen production, and the shear stress at maximum oxygen production rate tends to decrease with increasing temperature. The comparative study with Chlorella showed the reverse relationship between oxygen production and shear stress, and the cause of this difference is discussed in terms of several factors such as size, shape, hydrodynamic stress capacity and others.
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