Identification of the pollutants’ removal and mechanism by microalgae in saline wastewater

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Journal Article
Bioresource Technology, 2019, pp. 44 - 52
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd This study investigated the growth dynamics of a freshwater and marine microalgae with supported biochemical performance in saline wastewater, the pollutants assimilation by a developed method, and the mechanism of salinity's effect to pollutants assimilation. Maximal biomass yield was 400–500 mg/L at 0.1–1% salinity while the TOC, NO3−-N, PO43−-P were eliminated 39.5–92.1%, 23–97.4% and 7–30.6%, respectively. The biomass yield and pollutants removal efficiencies reduced significantly when salinity rose from 0.1 to 5%. The freshwater Chlorella vulgaris performed its best with a focus on TOC removal at 0.1% salinity. The marine Chlorella sp. was prominent for removing NO3−-N at 0.1–1% salinity. Through the developed method, the freshwater C. vulgaris competed to the marine microalgae referring to pollutants assimilation up to 5% salinity. This study unveiled the mechanism of salinity's effect with evidence of salt layer formation and salt accumulation in microalgae.
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