The Feasibility Study of Using Microalgae for Polishing Consumer-products Industrial Effluent Containing High Total Dissolved Solids

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Tongchai Sriwiriyarat
Monthon Mukhthong


A consumer-products industrial effluent contained high phosphate and sulfate from the manufacturing and wastewater treatment processes, resulting in high total dissolved solids (TDS) concentration. It is believed that Chlorella sp. and Scenedesmus sp. can grow in high-sulfate wastewater. The objective was to evaluate the feasibility of cultivating both algae in the industrial effluent with high TDS to polish contaminants. The culture mediums with different pH values of 3, 5, 7, and 9 and different sodium sulfate concentrations of 400, 600, 800, and 1000 mg/L were used to determine the optimum pH values and to evaluate the effects of high TDS on both algae. For both algae, the optimum pH value was 7.0, and high TDS affected minimally the specific growth rates but decreased considerably the biomass productivities due to high ionic strength. The phosphorus removal efficiency of Chlorella sp. was greater than Scenedesmus sp. because of simultaneous phosphorus assimilation and calcium phosphate precipitation. The results revealed that the lower the TDS concentration in the effluent, the higher the biomass productivities of both algae were obtained. It appears that both algae are not applicable for polishing this effluent unless nitrogen and inorganic carbon are supplemented and the TDS is reduced.


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