Abstract

This study investigates the feasibility of microalgae cultivation with the effluent (permeate) of a decentralized anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) treating high strength domestic wastewater. Two experiments, consisting of three and two successive batch experiments with incubation times varying between five and nine days, were conducted. Nutrient removal and growth of the microalgae species Acutodesmus obliquus were studied for the following culture media: (A) permeate, (B) permeate enriched with iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn), sulfur (S) and the chelating agent EDTA, (C) commercial fertilizer as control culture. Initial nutrient concentrations in the culture media ranged from 9.3 to 16.6 mg·L−1 total phosphorus (TP) and from 85.1 to 126.2 mg·L−1 total nitrogen (TN). TP reached an average removal of 97%, 98% and 99% in (A), (B) and (C) respectively. An average TN removal of 94% and 96% was achieved in (B) and (C). Starting from the third batch of the first experiment and the second batch of the second experiment, the culture with permeate (A) showed a decrease in TN removal. Further batch experiments showed the need to add iron to ensure an optimal TN removal from the permeate.

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