Natural Pigments and Biogas Recovery from Microalgae Grown in Wastewater
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Author/sArashiro, Larissa T. Ferrer, Ivet Pániker, Catalina C. Gómez-Pinchetti, Juan Luis Rousseau, Diederik P.L. Van Hulle, Stijn W.H. Garfí, Marianna
This study assessed the recovery of natural pigments (phycobiliproteins) and bioenergy (biogas) from microalgae grown in wastewater. A consortium of microalgae, mainly composed by Nostoc, Phormidium, and Geitlerinema, known to have high phycobiliproteins content, was grown in photobioreactors. The growth medium was composed by secondary effluent from a high rate algal pond (HRAP) along with the anaerobic digestion centrate, which aimed to enhance the N/P ratio, given the lack of nutrients in the secondary effluent. Additionally, the centrate is still a challenging anaerobic digestion residue since the high nitrogen concentrations have to be removed before disposal. Removal efficiencies up to 52% of COD, 86% of NH4+-N, and 100% of phosphorus were observed. The biomass composition was monitored over the experimental period in order to ensure stable cyanobacterial dominance in the mixed culture. Phycocyanin and phycoerythrin were extracted from harvested biomass, achieving maximum concent...