Optimization of microalgae cultivation in high rate ponds with biofilm growth

L.R. Assis1*, M.L. Calijuri1, P.P. Assemany1 and E.A. Couto1

1 Núcleo de Pesquisas Ambientais Avançadas – nPA, Department of Civil Engineering, Federal University of Viçosa, Av. P.H. Rolfs, Campus of Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, Brazil. Postal Code: 36570-900


This study developed a new configuration of algae cultivation, consisting of a hybrid system of a high rate pond (HRP) and a biofilm growth reactor, during treatment of domestic sewage. The HRP effluent was recirculated in a flat panel, vertically arranged and in direct contact with the atmospheric air and the solar radiation. The total average productivity, after two scrapings, was 5.58 g/m².day and the algal productivity reached an average of 0.12 g/m².day. Removals of ammoniacal nitrogen (81%), soluble phosphorus (25%), total carbon (66%) and soluble chemical demand (41%) showed that the hybrid system is viable for the treatment of domestic sewage. Moreover, there was the advantage of the biofilm being easily harvested by scraping.

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