Validation of a cationic polyacrylamide flocculant for the harvesting fresh and seawater microalgal biomass

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Journal Article
Environmental Technology and Innovation, 2019, 16
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10.1016j.eti.2019.1004 am.pdfAccepted Manuscript Version536.66 kB
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© 2019 Elsevier B.V. A simple, efficient, and fast settling flocculation technique to harvest microalgal biomass was demonstrated using a proprietary cationic polyacrylamide flocculant for a freshwater (Chlorella vulgaris) and a marine (Phaeodactylum tricornutum) microalgal culture at their mid-stationary growth phase. The optimal flocculant doses were 18.9 and 13.7 mg/g of dry algal biomass for C. vulgaris and P. tricornutum, respectively (equivalent to 7 g per m3 of algal culture for both species). The obtained optimal dose was well corroborated with changes in cell surface charge, and culture solution optical density and turbidity. At the optimal dose, charge neutralization of 64 and 86% was observed for C. vulgaris and P. tricornutum algal cells, respectively. Algae recovery was independent of the culture solution pH in the range of pH 6 to 9. Algal biomass recovery was achieved of 100 and 90% for C vulgaris and P. tricornutum respectively, and over 98% medium recovery was achievable by simple decanting.
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