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Developing Designer Microalgal Consortia: A Suitable Approach to Sustainable Wastewater Treatment

  • Shunni ZhuEmail author
  • Shuhao Huo
  • Pingzhong Feng
Chapter

Abstract

Nowadays, large amounts of improperly treated wastes have been discharged into water bodies, resulting in the reduction of water quality and the damage of aquatic ecosystems. One of the most severe issues is eutrophication phenomenon due to the excessive emission of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. However, most traditional approaches used for nutrient removal have complicated processes, high operation cost, and intensive energy demand. Alternatively, microalgal can provide a potential solution to the problems mentioned above. Microalgal-based technologies are low-cost and sustainable and recycle nutrients into biomass which would be converted to valuable goods. Since the nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus in wastewaters are indispensable for microalgal growth, microalgal exhibit superior nutrient removal to other microorganisms. Nevertheless, it is difficult to maintain axenic cultures of microalgal during wastewater treatment processes. Therefore natural and artificial consortia including microalgal consortia or microalgal-bacterial consortia have been utilized in several studies. The application of these consortia in wastewater remediation has many advantages; for example, synergistic relationship between the microorganisms in the consortia can enhance nutrient uptake and resistance to adverse conditions. This chapter reviews wastewater characteristics as nutrient sources for microalgal, formation and construction of microalgal consortia, factors influencing nutrient removal and biomass generation by consortia, the progress of treatment of various wastewaters (including municipal, industrial, and agricultural wastewater), and mechanisms involved in nutrient removal by consortia. Finally, the challenges of microalgal consortia research in bioremediation of wastewaters are also addressed.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was financially supported by the national key research and development program of China (2016YFB0601004), the Natural Science Foundation for research teams of Guangdong Province (2016A030312007), and Pearl River S&T Nova Program of Guangzhou (201610010155).

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Guangzhou Institute of Energy ConversionChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Food and Biological EngineeringJiangsu UniversityZhenjiangChina

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