Microalgae grown in stabilization ponds and in high rate oxidation ponds (HROP) treating wastewater, were harvested by flocculation with aluminium sulfate and floated in a laboratory electro-flotation unit, where bubbles were produced electrolytically. It was shown that the higher the solids concentration, the lower is the air: solids ratio needed to achieve 90% algae removal. The simultaneous flocculation of suspended algae and release of bubbles while flocs grow, give equal suspended solids removal as the classical flush mixing flocculation followed by slow mixing-flotation stage. Air : solidsratios between 0.009 and 0.013 were sufficient for flocs flotation by dissolved air flotation (DAF) and electro flotation. Continuous flocculation-flotation in a DAF pilot plant unit showed that flush mixing can be replaced by injection of chemicals in-line provided a retention of 15 sec is given before the inflow to the flotation tank. Slow mixing could be eliminated altogether when bubbles were generated simultaneously with the flocculation stage. DAF was further simplified, replacing the air compressor used for pressuring air into water by a venturi suction at the under pressure side of the pump in the pressurised line. DAF in its simplified version is preferred for algae harvesting in fresh water algae cultures and in HROP systems, while it is recognized that electroflotation may be preferred in harvesting marine microalgae.
Harvesting of Algae from High-Rate Ponds by Flocculation-Flotation
E. Sandbank, G. Shelef; Harvesting of Algae from High-Rate Ponds by Flocculation-Flotation. Water Sci Technol 1 December 1987; 19 (12): 257–263. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.1987.0154
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