Viability of combining microalgae and macroalgae cultures for treating anaerobically digested piggery effluent

Ashiwin Vadiveloo , Emeka Godfrey Nwoba , Navid Reza Moheimani


Received November 02, 2018,Revised , Accepted March 06, 2019, Available online March 18, 2019

Volume 31,2019,Pages 132-144

Algal phytoremediation represents a practical green solution for treating anaerobically digested piggery effluent (ADPE). The potential and viability of combining microalgae and macroalgae cultivation for the efficient treatment of ADPE were evaluated in this study. Bioprospecting the ability of different locally isolated macroalgae species illustrated the potential of Cladophora sp. to successfully grow and treat ADPE with up to 150 mg/L NH4+ with a biomass productivity of (0.13 ± 0.02) g/(L·day) and ammonium removal rate of (10.23 ± 0.18) mg/(L·day) NH4+. When grown by itself, the microalgae consortium used in this study consisting of Chlorella sp. and Scenedesmus sp. was found to grow and treat undiluted ADPE (up to 525 mg/L NH4+) with an average ammonium removal rate of 25 mg/(L·day) NH4+ and biomass productivity of (0.012 ± 0.0001) g/(L·day). Nevertheless, when combined together, despite the different cultivation systems (attached and non-attached) evaluated, microalgae and macroalgae were unable to co-exist together and treat ADPE as their respective growth were inversely related to each other due to direct competition for nutrients and available resources as well as the negative physical interaction between both algal groups.

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