Paddlewheel ARID Algae Raceway

Technology #ua17-143

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Kimberly Ogden
Professor, Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Said Attalah
Graduate student, ABE
Peter Waller
Associate Professor, Ag & Biosystems Engineering
Yaser Mehdipour
Staff Technician, Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering
Managed By
Tod Mccauley

Title: Paddlewheel ARID Algae Raceway


Invention: The invention is an Algae Raceway Integrated Design (ARID) that improves upon the conventional paddlewheel raceway. The raceway’s center airbag deflates at night, which allows the raceway to drain into a deep canal at night.


Background: Open pond systems are the most common method of cultivating algae and typically consist of shallow ponds where the algae are exposed to sunlight. Paddlewheel raceway ponds, which are used to keep the algae circulating, often fall victim to uneven flow, uneven depths, and dead zones. Efficient systems are therefore a necessity for large-scale production of algae for biofuel production and other algae-based products.



  • Renewable energy industry
  • Algae production
  • Chemicals industry
  • Animal/fish feed
  • Ingredients for pharmaceutical industry



  • Prevents uneven flow by removing the slope in the longitudinal direction of the raceway
  • Ceases movement in the liner due to inflation and deflation of multiple air bags
  • Airbag design removes the problem of angles restricting the water
  • Water is prevented from entering the deep canal during the daytime


Licensing Manager:

Tod McCauley

(520) 626-7916