The potential of an algal-bacterial system consisting of a high rate algal pond (HRAP) interconnected to an absorption column (AC) via recirculation of the cultivation broth for the upgrading of biogas and digestate was investigated. The influence of the gas-liquid flow configuration in the AC on the photosynthetic biogas upgrading process was assessed. AC operation in a co-current configuration enabled to maintain a biomass productivity of 15 g m−2 d−1, while during counter-current operation biomass productivity decreased to 8.7 ± 0.5 g m−2 d−1 as a result of trace metal limitation. A bio-methane composition complying with most international regulatory limits for injection into natural gas grids was obtained regardless of the gas-liquid flow configuration. Furthermore, the influence of the recycling liquid to biogas flowrate (L/G) ratio on bio-methane quality was assessed under both operational configurations obtaining the best composition at an L/G ratio of 0.5 and co-current flow operation.
- Algal-bacterial photobioreactor
- Biogas upgrading
- Nutrients recovery