Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 1399–1407 | Cite as

New approach for enhancing Chlorella vulgaris biomass recovery using ZnAl-layered double hydroxide nanosheets



The lack of cost-effective techniques for harvesting microalgae is a major challenge for microalgal application in wastewater treatment plants as well as large-scale production of microalgae. Here, a novel approach for the recovery of Chlorella vulgaris biomass using zinc aluminum-layered double hydroxide (ZnAl-LDH) nanosheets is introduced. ZnAl-LDHs are a green “eco-friendly” and efficient flocculent with capacity up to 0.521 g g−1. The adsorption and agglomeration of microalgal cells onto LDH layers were elucidated and confirmed. Different factors affecting flocculation efficiency including LDH concentration, algae concentration, pH, temperature, and time were studied and statistically optimized using the Plackett–Burman design. The best flocculation efficiency (96%) was obtained at the following conditions: pH 6, 35 °C temperature, and microalgae concentration range from 4.8 to 8.7 mg L−1 based on chlorophyll a content, 1 g L−1 LDH dosage and sedimentation time of 1 min. LDH concentrations higher than 1 g L−1 had no positive effect on the efficiency of the flocculation process.


Microalgae Flocculation Settleability LDH nanosheets Wastewater 



This work was supported by the science and technology development fund (STDF) in Egypt, under the research support grants (RSG) project ID no. 14970

Supplementary material

10811_2017_1050_MOESM1_ESM.docx (697 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 696 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences, Faculty of Postgraduate Studies for Advanced Sciences (PSAS)Beni-Suef UniversityBeni-SuefEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Biotechnology Centre, Faculty of PharmacyCairo UniversityCairoEgypt
  3. 3.Materials Science and Nanotechnology Department, Faculty of Postgraduate Studies for Advanced Sciences (PSAS)Beni-Suef UniversityBeni-SuefEgypt

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