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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(2), 4250-4264; doi:10.3390/ijms16024250

Cultivation of Chlorella vulgaris and Arthrospira platensis with Recovered Phosphorus from Wastewater by Means of Zeolite Sorption

1
Department of Natural Resources Management and Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, Athens 11855, Greece
2
Laboratory Aquatic Biology, KU Leuven Kulak, E. Sabbelaan 53, Kortrijk 8500, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: James H. Clark
Received: 21 December 2014 / Revised: 3 February 2015 / Accepted: 10 February 2015 / Published: 16 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Chemistry and the Biorefinery)
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Abstract

In this study, zeolite was employed for the separation and recovery of P from synthetic wastewater and its use as phosphorus (P) source for the cultivation of the green microalga Chlorella vulgaris and the cyanobacterium Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis. At P-loaded zeolite concentration of 0.15–1 g/L, in which P was limited, the two species displayed quite different behavior regarding their growth and biomass composition. C. vulgaris preferred to increase the intracellular P and did not synthesize biomass, while A. platensis synthesized biomass keeping the intracellular P as low as possible. In addition under P limitation, C. vulgaris did display some little alteration of the biomass composition, while A. platensis did it significantly, accumulating carbohydrates around 70% from about 15%–20% (control). Both species could desorb P from zeolite biologically. A. platensis could recover over 65% and C. vulgaris 25% of the P bounded onto zeolite. When P-loaded zeolite concentration increased to 5 g/L, P was adequate to support growth for both species. Especially in the case of C. vulgaris, growth was stimulated from the presence of P-loaded zeolite and produced more biomass compared to the control. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass; cyanobacteria; microalgae; nutrient recycling; phosphorus; wastewater treatment; zeolite biomass; cyanobacteria; microalgae; nutrient recycling; phosphorus; wastewater treatment; zeolite
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Markou, G.; Depraetere, O.; Vandamme, D.; Muylaert, K. Cultivation of Chlorella vulgaris and Arthrospira platensis with Recovered Phosphorus from Wastewater by Means of Zeolite Sorption. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 4250-4264.

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