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The pond is divided into a rectangular grid, with each rectangle containing one channel in the shape of an oval, like an automotive raceway circuit. From above, many ponds look like a maze. Each rectangle contains a paddle wheel to make the water flow continuously around the circuit.
The Department of Energy's Aquatic Species Program experimented with raceway ponds for the cultivation of algae. Many commercial producers of spirulina still use raceway ponds as their primary method of cultivation. Raceway ponds were used for removal of lead from waste water using biosorption by Spirulina (Arthospira) sp.
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- Huesemann, M.; Chavis, A.; Edmundson, Scott J; Rye, D.; Hobbs, S.; Sun, N.; Wigmosta, M. (2017-09-13). "Climate-simulated raceway pond culturing: quantifying the maximum achievable annual biomass productivity of Chlorella sorokiniana in the contiguous USA". Journal of Applied Phycology. 30 (1): 287–298. doi:10.1007/s10811-017-1256-6. ISSN 0921-8971. S2CID 254606572.
- Siva Kiran RR, Madhu GM*, Satyanarayana SV, Kalpana P, Bindiya P, Subba Rangaiah G. "Equilibrium and kinetic studies of lead biosorption by three Spirulina (Arthrospira) species in open raceway ponds." Journal of Biochemical Technology Vol. 6, no. 1 (2015): 894-909.