Design Considerations of Algal Systems for Wastewater Treatment

  • Mahmoud Nasr


Algal systems offer a promising solution for wastewater remediation via the uptake of nitrogen and phosphorus species as well as organic pollutants. The obtained biomass can be utilized for the extraction of value-added products such as lipids, protein, and carbohydrates. Algal cells are influenced by several environmental factors making the design of culture systems an essential procedure. Open ponds are considered as a low-cost option for biomass growth; however, they suffer from the limited control of environmental conditions. Alternatively, enclosed photobioreactors have been developed for the enhancement of biomass quality and productivity. However, the expensive construction and maintenance items, as well as the high energy requirements, are the main drawbacks of this system. This chapter provides an overview of the design and basic limiting factors of algal cultivation systems. The design considerations included light irradiance/distribution, culture mixing/agitation, air-CO2 mixture supply, heat and gas-liquid mass transfers, and energy inputs. The factors were emphasized along with the description of several algal growing systems, viz., facultative waste stabilization ponds, shallow ponds, raceway, tubular photobioreactors, flat panel photobioreactors, and airlift photobioreactors.


Algal cultivation and production Heat and mass transfers Light and energy utilization Photobioreactor Raceway ponds Wastewater medium 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahmoud Nasr
    • 1
  1. 1.Sanitary Engineering Department, Faculty of EngineeringAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt

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