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Development and performance evaluation of an algal biofilm reactor for treatment of multiple wastewaters and characterization of biomass for diverse applications

Choudhary, Poonam, Prajapati, Sanjeev Kumar, Kumar, Pushpendar, Malik, Anushree, Pant, Kamal K.
Bioresource technology 2017 v.224 pp. 276-284
algae, biofilm, biogas, biomass production, energy, feed supplements, fertilizers, harvesting, lipids, livestock, livestock feeds, recycling, slurries, wastewater
A modified algal biofilm reactor (ABR) was developed and assessed for high biomass productivity and treatment potential using variable strength wastewaters with accumulation of specialized bio-products. The nonwoven spun bond fabric (70GSM) was selected as suitable biofilm support on the basis of attachment efficiency, durability and ease of harvesting. The biomass productivity achieved by ABR biofilms were 4gm−2d−1, 3.64gm−2d−1 and 3.10gm−2d−1 when grown in livestock wastewater (LSW), domestic grey water (DGW) and anaerobically digested slurry (ADS), respectively. Detailed characterization of wastewater grown biomass showed specific distribution of biomolecules into high lipid (38%) containing biomass (DGW grown) and high protein (44%) biomass (LSW and ADS grown). The feasibility assessment of ABR in terms of net energy return (>1) favored its application in an integrated system for treatment and recycling of rural wastewaters with simultaneous production of biomethane, livestock feed supplement and bio fertilizers.