Algal wastewater treatment and biomass producing potential: nutrient removal efficiency and cell physiological responses

Samorì, Giulia (2012) Algal wastewater treatment and biomass producing potential: nutrient removal efficiency and cell physiological responses, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze ambientali: tutela e gestione delle risorse naturali, 24 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/4629.
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Microalgae are sun - light cell factories that convert carbon dioxide to biofuels, foods, feeds, and other bioproducts. The concept of microalgae cultivation as an integrated system in wastewater treatment has optimized the potential of the microalgae - based biofuel production. These microorganisms contains lipids, polysaccharides, proteins, pigments and other cell compounds, and their biomass can provide different kinds of biofuels such as biodiesel, biomethane and ethanol. The algal biomass application strongly depends on the cell composition and the production of biofuels appears to be economically convenient only in conjunction with wastewater treatment. The aim of this research thesis was to investigate a biological wastewater system on a laboratory scale growing a newly isolated freshwater microalgae, Desmodesmus communis, in effluents generated by a local wastewater reclamation facility in Cesena (Emilia Romagna, Italy) in batch and semi - continuous cultures. This work showed the potential utilization of this microorganism in an algae - based wastewater treatment; Desmodesmus communis had a great capacity to grow in the wastewater, competing with other microorganisms naturally present and adapting to various environmental conditions such as different irradiance levels and nutrient concentrations. The nutrient removal efficiency was characterized at different hydraulic retention times as well as the algal growth rate and biomass composition in terms of proteins, polysaccharides, total lipids and total fatty acids (TFAs) which are considered the substrate for biodiesel production. The biochemical analyses were coupled with the biomass elemental analysis which specified the amount of carbon and nitrogen in the algal biomass. Furthermore photosynthetic investigations were carried out to better correlate the environmental conditions with the physiology responses of the cells and consequently get more information to optimize the growth rate and the increase of TFAs and C/N ratio, cellular compounds and biomass parameter which are fundamental in the biomass energy recovery.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Samorì, Giulia
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze della terra e dell'ambiente
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Data di discussione
14 Maggio 2012

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