This study quantified the effect of temperature control at natural light on biomass productivity and removal of NH4-N and PO4-P for the microalgae Chlorella. Chlorella sp. was grown in reject water from dewatering of anaerobically digested municipal wastewater sludge. The average temperature was of more importance than the night or day temperature range.
Authors: Åkerström A. M., Mortensen L. M., Rusten B. and Gislerød H. R.
Microalgae cultivation for biomass production and nutrient removal implies the use of natural light and minimal control of the temperature for obtaining a low cost production.
The aim of this study was to quantify the effect of temperature control at natural light on biomass productivity and removal of NH4-N and PO4-P of a mesophilic strain of Chlorella. Chlorella sp. was grown in reject water of anaerobically digested municipal sludge, sludge liquor, inside a greenhouse compartment (Ås, Norway, 59°N) using batch cultures (300 mL).
Five experiments were conducted from May to September, and effects of different levels of temperature control and diurnal variations were investigated. The highest biomass productivities (0.45 g L(-1) day(-1)) in the linear growth phase were obtained at daily light integrals ≥12 mol day(-1) m(-2).
Results showed that the average temperature was of more importance than the night or day temperature range. At average temperatures <22 °C for cultures with no temperature control, the productivity decreased by 23 and 39 % compared to cultures with full temperature control (24-25 °C).
In one experiment, the productivity was reduced at no temperature control due to prolonged high daytime temperatures (>32 °C) and were followed by a lower NH4-N removal rate.
Otherwise, temperature had little effect on NH4-N removal. The level of temperature control did not affect removal of PO4-P. Cellular starch content varied from ~15-38 % in the evening and was generally lower at no temperature control. In the morning the starch content was reduced to ~4-12 % with no difference between the different levels of temperature control. (~4-12 %).
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Åkerström, Anette M.; Mortensen, Leiv M.; Rusten, Bjørn and Gislerød, Hans Ragnar: Biomass production and removal of ammonium and phosphate by Chlorella sp. in sludge liquor at natural light and different levels of temperature control. Springer Plus, DOI 10.1186/s40064-016-2266-6, May 2016.