Annual assessment of the wastewater treatment capacity of the microalga Scenedesmus almeriensis and optimisation of operational conditions
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Author/sSánchez-Zurano, Ana Morillas-España, Ainoa Gómez-Serrano, Cintia Ciardi, Martina Acién, Gabriel Lafarga, Tomás
The depth of the culture and the dilution rate have a striking effect on the biomass productivity and the nutrient recovery capacity of microalgal cultures. The combination of culture depth and dilution rate that allows to maximise the performance of the system depends on environmental conditions. In the current study, a response surface methodology was used to explore the relationship between the two most relevant operational conditions and the biomass productivity achieved in 8.3 m2 pilot-scale raceways operated using urban wastewater. Four polynomial models were developed, one for each season of the year. The software predicted biomass productivities of 12.3, 25.6, 32.7, and 18.9 g·m−2·day−1 in winter, spring, summer, and autumn, respectively. The models were further validated at pilot-scale with R2 values ranging within 0.81 and 0.91, depending on the season. Lower culture depths had the advantage of minimising nitrification and stripping but allow to process a lower volume of...