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Harvesting of microalgal biomass: Efficient method for flocculation through pH modulation
- Ummalyma, Sabeela Beevi, Mathew, Anil K., Pandey, Ashok, Sukumaran, Rajeev K.
- Bioresource technology 2016 v.213 pp. 216-221
- Chlorococcum, aluminum sulfate, biomass, ferric chloride, flocculants, flocculation, freshwater, harvesting, microalgae, pH, sodium hydroxide, toxicity
- Harvesting of the micro alga Chlorococcum sp. R-AP13 through autoflocculation, chemical flocculants or by change in medium pH was evaluated. Surface charge of algal cells changed in response to the method used and affected flocculation efficiency. While aluminum sulfate and FeCl3 supported 87% and 92% efficiency, auto flocculation could recover 75% of biomass in 10min. Maximum efficiency (94%) was obtained with change in medium pH from 8.5 to 12.0 achieved through addition of 40mgl−1 of NaOH. Since high concentrations of FeCl3 and AlSO4 were toxic to the cells, flocculation induced by pH change may be considered the most effective strategy. Residual medium after flocculation could be reused efficiently for algal cultivation, minimizing the demand for fresh water.