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Waste Water Already Contains Nutrients for Algae Growth! Is there a requirement of adding additional nutrients for growing algae?

January 22nd, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Algae, Algae Waste Water Treatment

Algae for its consistent growth requires sufficient amount of nutrients.  Since waste water already contains nitrogen, carbon and  phosphorous there is a speculation that the algae growing in waste water might not require any additional nutrients, however, research studies reveal that some amount of nutrient additions might be required. The necessary addition of nutrients also depends on the type of wastewater. Effluent of biological water purification may, for example, require phosphate and trace elements to be added to enable good growth.

For optimal growth, the culture must be provided with nutrients in adequate amounts (Borowitzka, 1988). These include several macronutrients such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, potassium, (for diatoms also silicon) and a number of trace elements like minerals (e.g. Co, Mo, Mn) and vitamins (e.g. Cyanocobalamine, thiamine). Besides quantities, the right proportions among nutrients (e.g. N: P; N: Si) are also important. Basic information on algal nutrition is given by (Kaplan et al., 1986).

Effluent or other wastewater generally (also) contains carbon in bound form (COD). In some tests, it was found that this organic substance in the algae system is mineralized by bacteria, thus making CO2 available for uptake by the algae.

The optimal C: N: P ratio required for algal growth is 50:8:1. But the ratio in typical municipal wastewater for C: N: P is 20:8:1. Hence CO2 addition to a wastewater system could enhance algal production.

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 –http://www.oilgae.com/ref/report/wastewater_treatment/wastewater_treatment.html 

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