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Cultivation of microalgae for potential heavy metal reduction in a wastewater treatmet plant
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering. (ACWA, FUTURE ENERGY)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4435-4367
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering. (ACWA, FUTURE ENERGY)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3311-9465
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering. (ACWA, FUTURE ENERGY)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5480-0167
2012 (English)In: / [ed] Jinyue Yan, 2012Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Sorption capacity of microalgae in 10 different mixtures of wastewater and lake water was evaluated for their ability to reduce heavy metal concentrations in wastewater. Cu, Zn and Ba concentrations were mostly reduced whereas Al and As concentrations actually increased in some samples. Co and Ni concentrations were more reduced in samples with pure wastewater compared to samples with wastewater/lake water mixtures. Hence, a mixture of wastewater and lake water seemed to decrease the metal reduction process in the water. Finally, for Fe and Mn concentrations, there was no significant difference between samples with pure wastewater and wastewater/lake water mixture. In positive cases reduction of heavy metal concentrations in the samples with 50-70% of wastewater worked best.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-18283OAI: diva2:607987
ICAE, International conference on applied energy, 5-8 July, Suzhou, China
Available from: 2013-02-27 Created: 2013-02-26 Last updated: 2015-03-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Communities of microalgae and bacteria in photobioreactors treating municipal wastewater
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Communities of microalgae and bacteria in photobioreactors treating municipal wastewater
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Everyone who uses water produces wastewater. This inevitability creates several problems that increase with the growth of the population and industry. What to do with the wastewater, how to purify it and how to design the infrastructure are all important questions that each municipality has to deal with, taking into account ever growing demands to reduce environmental impact. In these conditions scientists and engineers have turned to biological processes to help treat the water. Currently the most commonly used wastewater treatment method known as the activated sludge process involves bacteria that help break down the pollutants. While it has been used successfully for around 100 years now, it has many limitations when faced with modern demands. As an alternative, microalgae reactors, commonly known as photobioreactors, have been suggested.

Microalgae are microscopic water organisms that can use photosynthesis to form sugars from CO2 and water. To do this they require energy from light, hence the photo part of the photobioreactor. In addition to taking up CO2 from their environment, they take up nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous compounds. This is a reason why microalgae have great potential for use in wastewater treatment. When grown in wastewater together with the microorganisms already present, they are able to reduce the amount of pollutants by taking them up into their cells, effectively purifying the water.

Since wastewater has its own microbial community, the biological processes taking place in a wastewater treating photobioreactor are more complex compared to growing a single species of algae in a sterile medium. With the work presented in this licentiate, we characterized the algae and bacterial communities present in photobioreactors treating wastewater in addition to finding the most optimal ways to grow algae originating from a local lake in a wastewater medium. We looked at the species found, most important metabolic pathways, growth dynamics for both algae and bacteria and water purification dynamics.

Overall, we were successful in inoculating municipal wastewater from Västerås wastewater treatment plant with algae from Lake Mälaren. The dominant algae growing in our systems belonged to the genera Scenedesmus, Desmodesmus and Chlorella. We also saw that the bacterial community was involved in synthesis of vitamins essential for algae growth. The information presented in this thesis is another step towards a better design of control and monitoring systems in full-scale photobioreactor plants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalens högskola, 2015
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 193
National Category
Water Treatment
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27696 (URN)978-91-7485-192-2 (ISBN)
2015-04-17, Lambda, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 10:00 (English)
Knowledge Foundation, 2011006VINNOVA, 2012-01243

Additional funding was from SVU (12-123), Puracand Mälarenergi, and by grant IUT2-16 of the Ministry of Educationand Research of the Republic of Estonia (J. Truu, M. Truu, T. Ligi).

Available from: 2015-03-17 Created: 2015-03-16 Last updated: 2015-06-11Bibliographically approved

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