Potential of microalgae based wastewater treatment process and its implications
*Center for Environment and Water Research Institute, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Microalgae based wastewater treatment coupled with CO2 fixation is considered to be the future solution of wastewater treatment due to advantages of CO2 fixation, biofuel production and environmental sustainability. The wastewater produced from different sources i.e. industrial, municipal, dairy and agricultural wastewater is rich in nutrients necessary for microalgae growth. Flue gas may act as large sources of CO2 and sunshine a natural source of light for microalgae photosynthesis. The effectiveness of wastewater treatment depends upon on the uptake of different nutrients from wastewater by microalgae cells through phototrophic mechanism utilizing inorganic CO2 sources and heterotrophic mechanism involving utilization of organic carbon present in wastewater. This method presents economical solution by saving fresh water and nutrients supply cost necessary for microalgae growth in biofuel production process. In this research detail mechanism of microalgae based wastewater treatment, working of photobioreactors for microalgae cells growth and factors affecting the performance and effectiveness of wastewater treatment are discussed.
Keywords: wastewater treatment, microalgae, CO2 fixation