Comparative Analysis of Microalgal Cultivation Methods for Phycoremediation Application of Nutrient Removal from Wastewater

Author : Mendoza, Nomer R.
Major Adviser : Bataller, Butch G.
Committee Members : Sanchez, Denise Ester S.; Alcantara, Jerico Z.
Year : 2021
Month : June
Type : Thesis
Degree: BS
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Eutrophication of bodies of water due to high nutrient levels in wastewater is a common problem nowadays. Traditional WWT processes can remove nutrients from wastewater but are costly and energy-intensive, and the nutrients are not recovered. This case study explores the use of microalgae for nutrient removal in wastewater, specifically the mechanisms, the species used, and the comparison of suspended and non-suspended cultivation. Microalgae can remove nutrients directly and indirectly. Direct removal is through algal assimilation and indirect removal is through pH change. Direct removal is affected by the N/P ratio of both the species used and the treated wastewater. The widely used microalgae in studies are Chlorella sp. and Scenedesmus sp.. Evaluation of the cultivation systems revealed that closed PBRs and matrix-immobilization are both costly to operate at large-scale. Comparison of HRAPs and attached cultivation showed that the latter performed better in terms of areal biomass production, land requirement, HRT, and nutrient removal rate.

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