Nutrients-enriched effluents such as digestate can represent a suitable and economically appealing substrate for microalgae growth since they combine the effluent treatment with biomass production. Then, microalgae biomass can be exploited to produce several bio-based compounds. However, the use of digestate for microalgae cultivation can be challenging due to its high levels of ammonia nitrogen and its low C/N ratio. For this reason, an ultrasonic cavitation (UC) process combined with carbon dioxide (CO2) insufflation was tested on digestate, in order to obtain a faster solubilization of the CO2 in the medium and thus an increase in the C/N ratio. The test was carried out growing Chlorella vulgaris on both digestate (mixotrophic condition) and BG-11 medium (autotrophic condition) in 1 L photobioreactors. For the first 14 days of the experiment the reactors were maintained in batch conditions to acclimatize microalgae. Then, they were switched to semi-continuous for 32 days. The reactors were fed three times a week, with an HRT (Hydraulic Retention Time) of 10.5 d as weekly average. Regarding the test on digestate, both UC pre-treated and untreated conditions reached the highest biomass production at the end of the batch (4.8 and 4.1 g L-1 respectively) and a complete ammonium (NH4+) removal after 9 days. The switch to semi-continuous caused an increase in NH4+ concentration and a consistent decrease in biomass concentration. Biomass production reached the steady-state, with a concentration of 1.9 and 1.2 g L-1 for the UC pre-treated and untreated digestate, respectively (+55.6 % biomass production obtained with UC pre-treated digestate). Moreover, an NH4+ removal of 93.5 % and 92.3 % was reached for UC pre-treated and untreated conditions, respectively.

Semi-continuous Chlorella vulgaris Cultivation Using Anaerobic Digestate Liquid Fraction Pre-treated by Ultrasonic Cavitation to Improve Carbon Dioxide Solubilization

Biasiolo M.
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Cavinato C.
Writing – Review & Editing
2022

Abstract

Nutrients-enriched effluents such as digestate can represent a suitable and economically appealing substrate for microalgae growth since they combine the effluent treatment with biomass production. Then, microalgae biomass can be exploited to produce several bio-based compounds. However, the use of digestate for microalgae cultivation can be challenging due to its high levels of ammonia nitrogen and its low C/N ratio. For this reason, an ultrasonic cavitation (UC) process combined with carbon dioxide (CO2) insufflation was tested on digestate, in order to obtain a faster solubilization of the CO2 in the medium and thus an increase in the C/N ratio. The test was carried out growing Chlorella vulgaris on both digestate (mixotrophic condition) and BG-11 medium (autotrophic condition) in 1 L photobioreactors. For the first 14 days of the experiment the reactors were maintained in batch conditions to acclimatize microalgae. Then, they were switched to semi-continuous for 32 days. The reactors were fed three times a week, with an HRT (Hydraulic Retention Time) of 10.5 d as weekly average. Regarding the test on digestate, both UC pre-treated and untreated conditions reached the highest biomass production at the end of the batch (4.8 and 4.1 g L-1 respectively) and a complete ammonium (NH4+) removal after 9 days. The switch to semi-continuous caused an increase in NH4+ concentration and a consistent decrease in biomass concentration. Biomass production reached the steady-state, with a concentration of 1.9 and 1.2 g L-1 for the UC pre-treated and untreated digestate, respectively (+55.6 % biomass production obtained with UC pre-treated digestate). Moreover, an NH4+ removal of 93.5 % and 92.3 % was reached for UC pre-treated and untreated conditions, respectively.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/5000432
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