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Similarities and Differences of Treating Municipal Waste Water and Industrial Waste Water Using Algae

January 21st, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Algae, Algae-Cultivation-Sewage

While comparing the role of algae in the treatment for municipal and industrial wastewater, there are some roles that are common and some that are not. Both types of wastewater typically go through primary, secondary and tertiary stages.

In the primary stage, the water is treated for removable solids. The generic processes in this stage are similar for both industrial and municipal wastewater. Algae normally do not play a role in this stage for either type of wastewater. The table below illustrates the role of algae in each stage of the waste water treatment.

Primary Stage Algae have little or no role to play in the treatment of either type of wastewater
Secondary Stage Algae primarily treat nutrients and organic matter in municipal wastewater; in industrial wastewater, algae could in addition treat other pollutants such as special toxins and heavy metals
Tertiary Stage Where industrial and municipal waste water contain harmful microorganisms, algae have the capability to treat these microorganisms in both these types of waste waters.

In the primary stage, the water is treated for removable solids. The generic processes in this stage are similar for both industrial and municipal wastewater. Algae normally do not play a role in this stage for either type of wastewater.

In the secondary stage, wastewater is treated for nutrient removal and removal of other organic matter. In this stage, there could be differences between the role algae plays in the treatment of the two categories of wastewater.

In the case of municipal wastewater, algae treatment usually removes inorganic nutrients and organic matter. In cases where industrial waste water comprises pollutants other than inorganic nutrients and organic matter – special toxins, chemicals or heavy metals (e.g. Cd, Cr) for instance – algae are used for removal of these pollutants in addition to removing nutrients and organic pollutants. The tertiary stage typically comprises treatment for removal of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. Algae have the potential to remove some of these microorganisms. The role that algae play in the remediation of wastewater in the tertiary stage is similar for both industrial and domestic wastewater.

Read more from Oilgae’s Algae-Based Waste Water Treatment – The one and only such report in the world  Oilgae has published a unique report to assist those keen on understanding the algae-based waste water treatment technology and those wanting to venture into this industry. The Oilgae’s guide to waste water treatment is a comprehensive guide to understanding the algae-based waste water treatment, technolgies, challenges and the players that are involved in this industry. Link –  

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Solving the Issues of Current Waste Water Treatment Practices Using Algae 

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