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Article

A Comparative Study of Improvement of Phycoremediation Using a Consortium of Microalgae in Municipal Wastewater Treatment Pond Systems as an Alternative Solution to Africa’s Sanitation Challenges

1
Centre for Environmental Management, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa
2
CSIR, Smart Places Unit, Water Centre, P.O. Box 320, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa
3
Genetics Department, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland, Stellenbosch 7601, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Dimitris Zagklis
Processes 2021, 9(9), 1677; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9091677
Received: 25 July 2021 / Revised: 31 August 2021 / Accepted: 9 September 2021 / Published: 18 September 2021
The reuse of wastewater has been observed as a viable option to cope with increasing water stress in Africa. The present case studies evaluated the optimization of the process of phycoremediation as an alternative low-cost green treatment technology in two municipality wastewater treatment pond systems that make up the largest number of domestic sewage treatment systems on the African continent. A consortium of specific microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris and Chlorella protothecoides) was used to improve the treatment capacity of domestic wastewater at two operational municipality wastewater pond systems under different environmental conditions in South Africa. Pre- and post-phycoremediation optimization through mass inoculation of a consortium of microalgae, over a period of one year under different environmental conditions, were compared. It was evident that the higher reduction of total phosphates (74.4%) in the effluent, after treatment with a consortium of microalgae at the Motetema pond system, was possibly related to (1) the dominance of the algal taxa C. protothecoides (52%), and to a lesser extent C. vulgaris (36%), (2) more cloudless days, (3) higher air temperature, and (4) a higher domestic wastewater strength. In the case of the Brandwag pond treatment system, the higher reduction of total nitrogen can possibly be related to the dominance of C. vulgaris, different weather conditions, and lower domestic wastewater strength. The nutrient reduction data from the current study clearly presented compelling evidence in terms of the feasibility for use of this technology in developing countries to reduce nutrient loads from domestic wastewater effluent. View Full-Text
Keywords: consortia of microalgae; sustainable development goals; phycoremediation; pond treatment systems; domestic wastewater; Africa consortia of microalgae; sustainable development goals; phycoremediation; pond treatment systems; domestic wastewater; Africa
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MDPI and ACS Style

Oberholster, P.J.; Steyn, M.; Botha, A.-M. A Comparative Study of Improvement of Phycoremediation Using a Consortium of Microalgae in Municipal Wastewater Treatment Pond Systems as an Alternative Solution to Africa’s Sanitation Challenges. Processes 2021, 9, 1677. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9091677

AMA Style

Oberholster PJ, Steyn M, Botha A-M. A Comparative Study of Improvement of Phycoremediation Using a Consortium of Microalgae in Municipal Wastewater Treatment Pond Systems as an Alternative Solution to Africa’s Sanitation Challenges. Processes. 2021; 9(9):1677. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9091677

Chicago/Turabian Style

Oberholster, Paul J., Maronel Steyn, and Anna-Maria Botha. 2021. "A Comparative Study of Improvement of Phycoremediation Using a Consortium of Microalgae in Municipal Wastewater Treatment Pond Systems as an Alternative Solution to Africa’s Sanitation Challenges" Processes 9, no. 9: 1677. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9091677

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