Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Evaluating the sustainability of waste substrates for microalgal biomass production using different modes of cultivation
Authors: Ramsundar, Prathana 
Issue Date: 2018
The utilization of wastewater as a substrate for microalgal biomass cultivation is one of the few potentially viable routes for fuel and feed applications. In this study, the suitability of various liquid wastewater streams and waste biosolids from a domestic wastewater treatment plant was assessed for microalgal cultivation. The wastewater substrates were analyzed for nutrient content as a potential growth medium. For liquid waste substrates, physical, thermal and biological pre-treatment methods were evaluated to minimize the bacterial load. Biomass, physiology, nutrient removal efficiencies and biochemical constituents of Chlorella sorokiniana were investigated in influent (INF) and anaerobic tank centrate (AC) under mixotrophic (Mixo) and heterotrophic (Hetero) cultivation modes. Mixotrophic cultivation conditions demonstrated efficient ammonium (94.29%) and phosphate (83.30%) removal with promising biomass (77.14 mgL-1d-1), lipid (24.91 mgL-1d-1), protein (22.36 mgL-1d-1) and carbohydrate (20.10 mgL-1d-1) productivities. Urea supplementation (1500 mgL-1) further enhanced biomass (162.50 mgL-1d-1), lipid (24.91 mgL-1d-1), protein (22.36 mgL-1d-1) and carbohydrate (20.10 mgL-1d-1) productivities in Mixo AC. Therefore, the urea supplemented Mixo AC approach for microalgal cultivation was developed as a suitable biomass production strategy.

This work also elucidated a novel algae cultivation strategy for utilisation of waste biosolids, where nutrient-rich waste activated sludge (WAS) and final effluent (FE) from the wastewater treatment process was used for microalgal biomass generation. This strategy reduced the use of synthetic nutrients, fertilizers and freshwater which contribute significantly towards the overall cost of biomass production. Strategy development included the

investigation of physical, thermal and chemical pre-treatment methods to assist in effective nutrient release and bacterial load reduction. Evaluation of growth kinetics, photosynthetic performance, nutrient removal efficiencies and biochemical composition of microalgae under mixotrophic and heterotrophic modes of cultivation were performed. Furthermore, urea supplementation was studied to improve biomass productivity. Microalgae cultivation in acid pre-treated (pH 2) WAS + FE with urea supplementation (1500 mgL-1) showed enhanced biomass productivity of 298.75 mgL-1d-1. Microalgal biomass grown with WAS + FE using the developed strategy exhibited greater lipid (72.95 mgL-1d-1) and protein (72.84 mgL-1d-1) productivities and comparable carbohydrate yields (73.07 mgL-1d-1) to that of synthetic media. Thus mixotrophic mode of cultivation coupled with urea supplementation to WAS + FE proved to be a suitable cultivation strategy for C. sorokiniana.

The study developed an efficient strategy to utilize AC and WAS + FE as a growth medium for microalgae. Furthermore, findings from this study have demonstrated the potential of waste streams and waste solids from domestic wastewater treatment plants for microalgal biomass generation
Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of the Degree of Master of Applied Sciences: Biotechnology, Durban University of Technology, South Africa, Durban, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Applied Sciences)

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat
RAMSUNDARP_2018.pdf3.32 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail
Show full item record

Page view(s)

checked on Jul 14, 2024


checked on Jul 14, 2024

Google ScholarTM




Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.