An algal-bacterial consortium was tested for the treatment from a coke factory. A Chlorella vulgaris strain and a phenol-degrading Alcaligenes sp. were first isolated from the wastewater treatment plant to serve as inocula in the subsequent biodegradation tests. Batch tests were then conducted with samples from the real wastewater or using a synthetic wastewater containing 325 mg phenol/l and 500 mg NH4+/l as target pollutants. Direct biological treatment of the real wastewater was not possible due to the toxicity of organic compounds. Activated carbon adsorption and UV(A-B)-irradiation were efficient in detoxifying the effluent for subsequent biological treatment as inoculation of pretreated samples with the algal-bacterial consortium was followed by complete phenol removal and NH4+ removal of 45%. Complete phenol removal and 33% NH4+ removal were achieved during the fed-batch treatment of artificial wastewater at 6 d hydraulic retention time (HRT). Under continuous feeding at 3.6 d HRT, phenol and NH4+ removal dropped to 58 and 18%, respectively. However, complete phenol removal and 29% NH4+ removal were achieved when 8 g NaHCO3/l was added to the artificial wastewater to enhance algal growth. This study confirms the potential of solar-based industrial wastewater treatment based on solar-based UV pretreatment followed by algal-bacterial biodegradation.

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