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Green microalgae for combined sewage and tannery effluent treatment: Performance and lipid accumulation potential

Saranya, D., Shanthakumar, S.
Journal of environmental management 2019 v.241 pp. 167-178
Chlorella vulgaris, aluminum, ammonium nitrogen, biomass, chemical oxygen demand, chromium, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, fuel production, heavy metals, iron, lipids, microalgae, raw materials, remediation, sewage, tannery effluents, zinc
Microalgae have considerable interest owing to its phycoremediation potential and raw material for sustainable biofuel production. In this study, the performance of green algae Chlorella vulgaris (NRMCF0128) and Pseudochlorella pringsheimii (VIT_SDSS) was evaluated for the remediation of combined sewage and tannery effluent under different dilutions. Significant reduction in pollutant concentration was observed in the effluent: >65% for NH3-N, 100% for PO4-P, >63% for COD & >80% for total chromium, at higher dilutions (up to 30%) of tannery effluent (T) for both species. EDAX analysis confirms the intracellular accumulation of heavy metal chromium and other elements such as aluminum, zinc, and iron by both microalgae. In addition, the maximum yield of biomass achieved was 3.51 g/L (for 30% Tannery effluent) and 2.84 g/L (for 20% Tannery effluent) for Chlorella vulgaris &Pseudochlorella pringsheimii, respectively. Between the two species, Pseudochlorella pringsheimii has shown high lipid accumulation potential of 25.4% compared to Chlorella vulgaris (9.3%) at 20% Tannery effluent. Hence, it is evident that the green microalgae Pseudochlorella pringsheimii is promising for the sustainable treatment of combined sewage and tannery effluent along with biofuel production.