Circular Economy and Agro-Industrial Wastewater: Potential of Microalgae in Bioremediation Processes

  • Ulises Reno
  • Luciana Regaldo
  • Ana María Gagneten
Part of the Applied Environmental Science and Engineering for a Sustainable Future book series (AESE)


Agro-industrial production generates large volumes of effluents with a high content of solids, nutrients, organic matter, and microorganisms. These effluents can negatively modify natural environments that receive them by surface runoff or infiltration through the soil, with possible damage to the population’s health. The objective of the circular economy is to maintain—as long as possible—the materials, products, and resources used in the production system to diminish, in this way, contaminating wastes. The “biologization” of industrial processes using the purification capacity of microalgae to decontaminate wastewaters has emerged in recent years. It offers two benefits, the production of biomass for different uses and the production of cleaner effluents. After microalgal treatments, ecotoxicity tests are used to assess the effectiveness of decontamination processes. In addition, bioassays indicate how long it is necessary to continue the decontamination process, i.e., when the concentration with no toxic effects has been reached, thus reducing unnecessary costs.

In this chapter, we will discuss (1) the use of microalgae for the treatment of agro-industrial wastewater derived from dairy, swine, and agrochemicals (fertilizers, pesticides) production. (2) The relevance of a cleaner remediation technology for water contaminated with glyphosate: the advanced oxidation process (AOP), using the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris as a test organism. (3) The importance of monitoring environmental pollution in freshwater aquatic ecosystems through ecotoxicology tests using nontarget species.


Agro-industrial wastewater Microalgae Advanced oxidation process (AOP) Ecotoxicity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulises Reno
    • 1
    • 2
  • Luciana Regaldo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ana María Gagneten
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorio de EcotoxicologiaUniversidad Nacional del LitoralSanta FeArgentina
  2. 2.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones CientÚficas y Técnicas (CONICET)Santa FeArgentina

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