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Microalgae cultivation and culture medium recycling by a two-stage cultivation system

Wang, Xinfeng, Lin, Lu, Lu, Haifeng, Liu, Zhidan, Duan, Na, Dong, Taili, Xiao, Hua, Li, Baoming, Xu, Pei
Frontiers of environmental science & engineering 2018 v.12 no.6 pp. 14
Arthrospira platensis, Chlorella, ammonium, ammonium nitrogen, biomass production, culture media, harvesting, microalgae, nutrients, organic carbon, phosphorus, poultry, recycling, ultrafiltration, wastewater, wastewater treatment
Nutrients and water play an important role in microalgae cultivation. Using wastewater as a culture medium is a promising alternative to recycle nutrients and water, and for further developing microalgae-based products. In the present study, two species of microalgae, Chlorella sp. (high ammonia nitrogen tolerance) and Spirulina platensis (S. platensis, high growth rate), were cultured by using poultry wastewater through a two-stage cultivation system for algal biomass production. Ultrafiltration (UF) or centrifuge was used to harvest Chlorella sp. from the first cultivation stage and to recycle culture medium for S. platensis growth in the second cultivation stage. Results showed the two-stage cultivation system produced high microalgae biomass including 0.39 g·L–¹Chlorella sp. and 3.45 g·L–¹S. platensis in the first-stage and second-stage, respectively. In addition, the removal efficiencies of NH₄⁺ reached 19% and almost 100% in the first and the second stage, respectively. Total phosphorus (TP) removal reached 17% and 83%, and total organic carbon (TOC) removal reached 55% and 72% in the first and the second stage, respectively. UF and centrifuge can recycle 96.8% and 100% water, respectively. This study provides a new method for the combined of pure microalgae cultivation and wastewater treatment with culture medium recycling.