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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1926; doi:10.3390/ijms17111926

Nitrogen Removal from Landfill Leachate by Microalgae

1
Laboratório de Engenharia de Processos, Ambiente e Energia (LEPABE), Departamento de Engenharia Química, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
2
Laboratory of Separation and Reaction Engineering—Laboratory of Catalysis and Materials (LSRE-LCM), Departamento de Engenharia Química, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yongsheng Chen
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 8 November 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Algae Based Bio-Renewable Energy for Sustainability)
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Abstract

Landfill leachates result from the degradation of solid residues in sanitary landfills, thus presenting a high variability in terms of composition. Normally, these effluents are characterized by high ammoniacal-nitrogen (N–NH4+) concentrations, high chemical oxygen demands and low phosphorus concentrations. The development of effective treatment strategies becomes difficult, posing a serious problem to the environment. Phycoremediation appears to be a suitable alternative for the treatment of landfill leachates. In this study, the potential of Chlorella vulgaris for biomass production and nutrients (mainly nitrogen and phosphorus) removal from different compositions of a landfill leachate was evaluated. Since microalgae also require phosphorus for their growth, different loads of this nutrient were evaluated, giving the following N:P ratios: 12:1, 23:1 and 35:1. The results have shown that C. vulgaris was able to grow in the different leachate compositions assessed. However, microalgal growth was higher in the cultures presenting the lowest N–NH4+ concentration. In terms of nutrients uptake, an effective removal of N–NH4+ and phosphorus was observed in all the experiments, especially in those supplied with phosphorus. Nevertheless, N–NO3 removal was considered almost negligible. These promising results constitute important findings in the development of a bioremediation technology for the treatment of landfill leachates. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass production; Chlorella vulgaris; landfill leachate; microalgae; nutrient removal kinetics; wastewater treatment biomass production; Chlorella vulgaris; landfill leachate; microalgae; nutrient removal kinetics; wastewater treatment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pereira, S.F.L.; Gonçalves, A.L.; Moreira, F.C.; Silva, T.F.C.V.; Vilar, V.J.P.; Pires, J.C.M. Nitrogen Removal from Landfill Leachate by Microalgae. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1926.

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