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Cultivation of Chlorella vulgaris in a pilot-scale photobioreactor using real centrate wastewater with waste glycerol for improving microalgae biomass production and wastewater nutrients removal

Ren, Hongyan, Tuo, Jinhua, Addy, Min M., Zhang, Renchuan, Lu, Qian, Anderson, Erik, Chen, Paul, Ruan, Roger
Bioresource technology 2017 v.245 pp. 1130-1138
Chlorella vulgaris, algae culture, ammonium nitrogen, bacteria, biomass production, carbon nitrogen ratio, chemical oxygen demand, glycerol, lipid content, microalgae, nutrients, phosphorus, photobioreactors, wastewater
To improve nutrients removal from real centrate wastewater and enhance the microalgae biomass production, cultivation of Chlorella vulgaris in lab and a pilot-scale photobioreactor with waste glycerol was studied. The results showed the optimal concentration of the crude glycerol was 1.0gL−1 with the maximum biomass productivity of 460mgL−1d−1 TVS, the maximum lipid content of 27%, the nutrient removal efficiency of all above 86%, due to more balanced C/N ratio. The synergistic relationship between the wastewater-borne bacteria and the microalgae had significant good influence on nutrient removal. In pilot-scale wastewater-based algae cultivation, with 1gL−1 waste glycerol addition, the average biomass production of 16.7gm−2d−1, lipid content of 23.6%, and the removal of 2.4gm−2d−1 NH4+-N, 2.7gm−2d−1 total nitrogen, 3.0gm−2d−1 total phosphorous, and 103.0gm−2d−1 of COD were attained for 34days semi-continuous mode.