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Characterization of nutrient removal and microalgal biomass production on an industrial waste-stream by application of the deceleration-stat technique

  • Van Wagenen, Jonathan
  • Pape, Mathias Leon
  • Angelidaki, Irini
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2015
Online Research Database In Technology
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Industrial wastewaters can serve as a nutrient and water source for microalgal production. In this study the effluent of an internal circulation (IC) reactor anaerobically treating the wastes of a biotechnology production facility were chosen as the cultivation medium for Chlorella sorokiniana in batch and continuous cultures. The aim was to evaluate the rates of nutrient removal and biomass production possible at various dilution rates. The results demonstrate that the industrial wastewater served as a highly effective microalgae culture medium and that dilution rate strongly influenced algae productivity in a short light-path photobioreactor. Batch culture on undiluted wastewater showed biomass productivity of 1.33gL-1day-1, while removing over 99% of the ammonia and phosphate from the wastewater. Deceleration-stat (D-stat) experiments performed at high and low intensities of 2100 and 200 (μmol photon m2s-1) established the optimal dilution rates to reach volumetric productivity of 5.87 and 1.67gL-1day-1 respectively. The corresponding removal rates of nitrogen were 238 and 93mg L-1day-1 and 40 and 19mg L-1day-1 for phosphorous. The yield on photons at low light intensity was as high as had been observed in any previous report indicating that the waste stream allowed the algae to grow at its full potential.

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