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Waste and Biomass Valorization

, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 1397–1408 | Cite as

Biogas Production from Waste Microalgal Biomass Obtained from Nutrient Removal of Domestic Wastewater

  • Ozgul Calicioglu
  • Goksel N. DemirerEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

In this study, a semi-continuous photobioreactor was operated for the investigation of nutrient removal efficiency of a unialgal culture, Chlorella vulgarıs. Maximum nitrogen and phosphorous removal efficiencies of 99.6 and 91.2 % were achieved in the photobioreactor. The microalgal slurry obtained from the effluent of the photobioreactor was subjected to biochemical methane potential assay, after application of heat, autoclave, and thermochemical pretreatments to improve anaerobic digestibility and biogas production. Evaluation of pretreatment options indicated that heat pretreatment is the most efficient method in terms of enhancing anaerobic digestibility, at the chemical oxygen demand (COD) loading of 19 ± 0.5 g L−1. This method increased the methane yield by 83.0 %, from 223 to 408 mL CH4 g VS added −1 , compared to untreated microalgal slurry reactor with the same COD value. Among reactors with 35 ± 1.5 g L−1 initial COD concentration, autoclave-pretreated microalgal slurry was found to yield the highest methane value of 356 mL CH4 g VS added −1 , which was 43.0 % higher than the value observed in the reactor fed with untreated microalgal slurry. The thermochemical pretreatment caused production of inhibitory compounds and resulted in lower biomethane production and COD treatment values, compared to untreated microalgae. Outcomes of this study reveal that coupled micro-algal and anaerobic biotechnology could be a sustainable alternative for integrated nutrient removal and biofuel production applications.

Keywords

Chlorella vulgaris Photobioreactor Anaerobic digestion Biogas Pretreatment 

Abbreviations

BM

Basal medium

BMP

Biochemical methane potential

CH4

Methane

COD

Chemical oxygen demand

DO

Dissolved oxygen

GC

Gas chromatograph

HPLC

High performance liquid chromatography

N

Nitrogen

NaOH

Sodium hydroxide

NH3

Free ammonia

NH4+

Ammonium ion

NH4+-N

Ammonium-nitrogen

NO3

Nitrate ion

NO3-N

Nitrate-nitrogen

OD

Optical density

P

Phosphorus

PAR

Photosynthetically active radiation (nm)

PO43−

Phosphate ion

PO43−-P

Orthophosphate-phosphorus

sCOD

Soluble chemical oxygen demand

SCP

Semi-continuous cultivation photobioreactor

S/X

Substrate-to-inoculum ratio

TAN

Total ammonifiable nitrogen

tCOD

Total chemical oxygen demand

TKN

Total Kjeldahl nitrogen

TN

Total nitrogen

TP

Total phosphorus

TS

Total solids

TSS

Total suspended solids

VFA

Volatile fatty acids

VDS

Volatile dissolved solids

VS

Volatile solids

VSS

Volatile suspended solids

vvm

Volume of gas per volume of broth per minute

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Environmental EngineeringMiddle East Technical UniversityAnkaraTurkey

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