A novel photo-respirometry method to characterize consortia in microalgae-related wastewater treatment processes
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Author/sSanchez-Zurano, Ana; Gomez-Serrano, Cintia; Acién-Fernández, Francisco Gabriel; Fernández-Sevilla, Jose María; Molina-Grima, Emilio
In this paper, a new photo-respirometry method for determining the rates of the main metabolic processes of microalgae-bacteria consortia in microalgae-based wastewater treatment processes has been developed and tested. The proposed protocol consists on applying dark and light periods to a microalgae-bacteria consortium in the presence of different substrates and measuring the rate of oxygen production. This allows determining the activity of microalgae, heterotrophic bacteria and nitrifying bacteria separately. The method has been optimized in terms of the operation strategy, including the starvation period required, the biomass concentration and the irradiance during the measurements. Results show that a starvation period of one to three days is necessary depending on the nutrient concentration. The optimal experimental conditions determined were a biomass concentration of 0.5 g/L and an irradiance of 200 μmol photons/m2·s. Furthermore, microalgae-bacteria samples from seven photo...