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Open AccessArticle

A Feasibility Study of Wastewater Treatment Using Domestic Microalgae and Analysis of Biomass for Potential Applications

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Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea
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School of Life Sciences, BK21 Plus KNU Creative BioResearch Group, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea
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Department of Energy Science, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea
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Advanced Bio-resource Research Center, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(11), 2294; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112294
Received: 25 July 2019 / Revised: 25 October 2019 / Accepted: 26 October 2019 / Published: 1 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integration of Microalgal Based Processes in Wastewater Treatment)
Water scarcity and emerging demands for renewable energy have increased concerns about energy security and advanced wastewater treatment, and microalgae have emerged as promising candidates to solve these problems. This study assesses the feasibility of microalgal wastewater treatment, and the utilization of the resulting microalgal biomass, as a renewable energy source. We cultured four selected microalgal species in filtered wastewater collected from the municipal treatment facility in Daegu, Republic of Korea. We measured nutrient consumption, growth rate, and physicochemical properties during cultivation, then analyzed the biomass for biochemical composition, ultimate analysis, proximate analysis, and biodiesel and lubricant properties, to estimate its potential applications. Desmodesmus sp. KNUA024 emerged as the most promising strain, removing 99.10% of ammonia nitrogen, 91.31% of total nitrogen, and 95.67% of total phosphate. Its biomass had a calorific value of 19.5 MJ kg−1, similar to terrestrial plants. α-linolenic acid was the most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA; 54.83%). Due to its PUFA content, Desmodesmus sp. KNUA024 also had a high iodine value, indicating its potential for use as a bio-lubricant. Therefore, Desmodesmus sp. KNUA024 shows promise for wastewater treatment, energy, and industrial applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: microalgae; wastewater treatment; bioenergy; bio-lubricant; alternative feedstock microalgae; wastewater treatment; bioenergy; bio-lubricant; alternative feedstock
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Do, J.-M.; Jo, S.-W.; Kim, I.-S.; Na, H.; Lee, J.H.; Kim, H.S.; Yoon, H.-S. A Feasibility Study of Wastewater Treatment Using Domestic Microalgae and Analysis of Biomass for Potential Applications. Water 2019, 11, 2294.

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