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An approach for phycoremediation of different wastewaters and biodiesel production using microalgae

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Four microalgal strains, namely, Tetraselmis indica (T. indica), Scenedesmus abundans (S. abundans), Spirulina sp., and Nostoc muscorum (N. muscorum) were cultivated on four different wastewaters in 1000 ml photobioreactors with 750 ml working volume under 94.5 μmol m−2 s−1 light intensity for 14 days for phycoremediation of wastewaters and sustainable biodiesel production. These microalgal strains attained maximum biomass growth in the secondary treated sewage (STS). Maximum biomass yield (0.6533 g L−1) and lipid productivity (25.44 mg L−1 d−1) for T. indica were achieved in STS. T. indica removed (63.6–78.24%) of nitrate, (60.90–65.97%) of phosphate, (61.01–80.01%) of ammonical nitrogen, and (71.16–85.70%) of total organic carbon (TOC) in all four wastewaters. The fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) profile of T. indica shows the presence of myristic acid (1.2%) pentadecylic acid (0.28%), palmitic acid (10.32%), oleic acid (34.59%), linoleic acid (12.38%), and eicosanoic acid (14.88%) in STS. This study demonstrates that T. indica is the most suitable microalgal species among the four microalgal strains selected for phycoremediation of wastewaters and higher biomass production for sustainable biodiesel production.

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The authors are thankful to Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Government of India, for providing research grant for this work.

Author information

Correspondence to Uttam Kumar Ghosh.

Additional information


• The higher biomass productivity was showed in STS by T. indica.

• Screening of most suitable microalgae in four different wastewaters for higher biomass production.

T indica was found to be most promising species for nutrients removal and biodiesel production.

T. indica biodiesel profile is within the specified ASTM D6751 standards.

Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Amit, Ghosh, U.K. An approach for phycoremediation of different wastewaters and biodiesel production using microalgae. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 18673–18681 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-1967-5

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  • Microalgae
  • Biomass
  • Wastewaters
  • Lipid productivity
  • Fatty acid methyl esters