Abstract

Domestic wastewater containing a high proportion of organic matter and nutrients is a serious pollution problem in developing countries. This study aimed to evaluate the performance of a novel attached-growth high rate algal pond (AG-HRAP) employing attached-growth media and artificial light sources for treating domestic wastewater and enhancing nutrient recovery. Light intensities in the range of 40–180 μmol/m2/s were used in the AG-HRAPs. The experimental results showed that the highest chemical oxygen demand (COD), total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) removal efficiencies of 88, 62 and 69%, respectively, were found at the hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 15 days and the average light intensity of 180 μmol/m2/s. Moreover, the effluent COD concentrations could meet Thailand's national discharge standard. The highest biomass and protein productivities of 54 ± 4 and 37 ± 8 g/m2/d, respectively, were found in the AG-HRAPs, which were higher than in previous studies of HRAPs. The Stover-Kincannon kinetic values for COD, TN and TP removals of the AG-HRAPs (R2 = 0.9) were higher than those of the conventional systems. Additionally, the novel AG-HRAP system could provide a highly cost-effective operation when compared to other microalgal systems.

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