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Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 417–423 | Cite as

Removal of nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater using microalgae immobilized on twin layers: an experimental study

  • Jing Shi
  • Björn Podola
  • Michael Melkonian
Article

Abstract

Removal of nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater by two green microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris and Scenedesmus rubescens) was investigated using a novel method of algal cell immobilization, the twin-layer system. In the twin-layer system, microalgae are immobilized by self-adhesion on a wet, microporous, ultrathin substrate (the substrate layer). Subtending the substrate layer, a second layer, consisting of a macroporous fibrous tissue (the source layer), provides the growth medium. Twin-layers effectively separate microalgae from the bulk of their growth medium, yet allow diffusion of nutrients. In the twin-layer system, algae remain 100% immobilized, which compares favourably with gel entrapment methods for cell immobilization. Both microalgae removed nitrate efficiently from municipal wastewater. Using secondary, synthetic wastewater, the two algae also removed phosphate, ammonium and nitrate to less than 10% of their initial concentration within 9 days. It is concluded that immobilization of C. vulgaris and S. rubescens on twin-layers is an effective means to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus levels in wastewater.

Key words

ammonium Chlorella vulgaris nitrate nutrient removal phosphate Scenedesmus rubescens twin-layer wastewater treatment 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Botanisches InstitutUniversität zu Köln, Lehrstuhl 1KölnGermany

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