Removal of nitrogen from wastewater using microalgae and microalgae–bacteria consortia

Abstract

Exceeding nitrogen discharge into natural water bodies can lead to eutrophication in natural aquatic environments, as well as the decline in shellfish habitat and aquatic plant life. Currently, bacterial biological treatment process is the most common process employed in wastewater treatment plants, which requires extensive oxygen. The large demand for oxygen provided by mechanical aeration is costly and can strip out volatile compounds. Microalgae are photosynthetic micro-organisms, which can be a good source of oxygen in the wastewater treatment process. The effect of using microalgae, either solo or in consortia systems along with other micro-organisms (mainly bacteria) have been studied by researchers to improve their contaminant removal efficiency. In a consortia system, microalgae generate oxygen through photosynthesis to satisfy the oxygen requirement of bacteria. Simultaneously, they also remove contaminating nutrients throughout their growth cycle. Various factors affect the performance of the consortia systems such as lighting, pH, and species of microalgae and bacteria. Since microalgae are suspended and dispersed in the media, harvesting is crucial to achieving a high-quality effluent. This paper presents an overview on nitrogen removal from wastewater using different types of systems including microalgae solo and microalgae–bacteria consortia systems. The parameters that affect system performance as well as biomass harvesting methods are also discussed. *Corresponding author: Qiuyan Yuan, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2, Canada E-mail: Qiuyan.yuan@umanitoba.ca Reviewing editor: Arno Rein, Technical University of Munich, Germany Additional information is available at the end of the article

4 Figures and Tables

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Jia2017RemovalON, title={Removal of nitrogen from wastewater using microalgae and microalgae–bacteria consortia}, author={Huijun Jia and Qiuyan Yuan}, year={2017} }