Factors Affecting the Growth of Microalgae on Blackwater from Biosolid Dewatering
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This paper discusses the possibility of including the culturing of microalgae within a conventional wastewater treatment sequence by growing them on the blackwater (BW) from biosolid dewatering to produce biomass to feed the anaerobic digester. Two photobioreactors were used: a 12 L plexiglas column for indoor, lab-scale tests and a 85 L plexiglas column for outdoor culturing. Microalgae (Chlorella sp. and Scenedesmus sp.) could easily grow on the tested blackwater. The average specific growth rate in indoor and outdoor batch tests was satisfactory, ranging between 0.14 and 0.16 day−1. During a continuous test performed under outdoor conditions from May to November, in which the off-gas from the combined heat and power unit was used as the CO2 source, an average biomass production of 50 mgTSS L−1 day−1 was obtained. However, statistical analyses confirmed that microalgal growth was affected by environmental conditions (temperature and season) and that it was negatively correlated with the occurrence of nitrification. Finally, the biochemical methane potential of the algal biomass was slightly higher than that from waste sludge (208 mLCH4 gVS−1 vs. 190 mLCH4 gVS−1).
KeywordsMicroalgae Blackwater Outdoor cultivation Wastewater treatment plant
We thank Bresso-Seveso Sud WWTP (Amiacque CAP holding) for hosting the experimentation and SEAM staff for helpful collaboration. We gratefully thank the reviewers for their time and efforts to improve this paper.
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