Nutrient Removal and Biomass Production in an Outdoor Pilot-Scale Phototrophic Biofilm Reactor for Effluent Polishing

N.C. Boelee, M. Janssen, H. Temmink, R. Shrestha, C.J.N. Buisman, R.H. Wijffels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An innovative pilot-scale phototrophic biofilm reactor was evaluated over a 5-month period to determine its capacity to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from Dutch municipal wastewater effluents. The areal biomass production rate ranged between 2.7 and 4.5 g dry weight/m2/day. The areal nitrogen and phosphorus removal rates averaged 0.13 g N/m2/day and 0.023 g P/m2/day, which are low compared to removal rates achieved in laboratory biofilm reactors. Nutrient removal increased during the day, decreased with decreasing light intensity and no removal occurred during the night. Additional carbon dioxide supply was not requisite as the wastewater was comprised of enough inorganic carbon to sustain microalgal growth. The study was not conclusive for the limiting factor that caused the low nutrient removal rate, possibly the process was limited by light and temperature, in combination with pH increases above pH 9 during the daytime. This pilot-scale study demonstrated that the proposed phototrophic biofilm reactor is not a viable post-treatment of municipal wastewater effluents under Dutch climate conditions. However, the reactor performance may be improved when controlling the pH and the temperatures in the morning. With these adaptations, a phototrophic biofilm reactor could be feasible at lower latitudes with higher irradiance levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-422
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Volume172
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Biofilms
Polishing
Biomass
Nutrients
Effluents
Waste Water
Food
Wastewater
Phosphorus
Nitrogen
Light
Temperature
Climate
Carbon Dioxide
Carbon
Carbon dioxide
Weights and Measures
Growth

Keywords

  • waste water treatment
  • biofilms
  • algae
  • biological water treatment plants
  • phototropism
  • nitrates
  • phosphates
  • waste-water treatment
  • rate algal pond
  • marine-phytoplankton
  • seasonal succession
  • phosphate-uptake
  • nitrogen uptake
  • nitrate uptake
  • phosphorus
  • growth
  • light

Cite this

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title = "Nutrient Removal and Biomass Production in an Outdoor Pilot-Scale Phototrophic Biofilm Reactor for Effluent Polishing",
abstract = "An innovative pilot-scale phototrophic biofilm reactor was evaluated over a 5-month period to determine its capacity to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from Dutch municipal wastewater effluents. The areal biomass production rate ranged between 2.7 and 4.5 g dry weight/m2/day. The areal nitrogen and phosphorus removal rates averaged 0.13 g N/m2/day and 0.023 g P/m2/day, which are low compared to removal rates achieved in laboratory biofilm reactors. Nutrient removal increased during the day, decreased with decreasing light intensity and no removal occurred during the night. Additional carbon dioxide supply was not requisite as the wastewater was comprised of enough inorganic carbon to sustain microalgal growth. The study was not conclusive for the limiting factor that caused the low nutrient removal rate, possibly the process was limited by light and temperature, in combination with pH increases above pH 9 during the daytime. This pilot-scale study demonstrated that the proposed phototrophic biofilm reactor is not a viable post-treatment of municipal wastewater effluents under Dutch climate conditions. However, the reactor performance may be improved when controlling the pH and the temperatures in the morning. With these adaptations, a phototrophic biofilm reactor could be feasible at lower latitudes with higher irradiance levels.",
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Nutrient Removal and Biomass Production in an Outdoor Pilot-Scale Phototrophic Biofilm Reactor for Effluent Polishing. / Boelee, N.C.; Janssen, M.; Temmink, H.; Shrestha, R.; Buisman, C.J.N.; Wijffels, R.H.

In: Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Vol. 172, No. 1, 2014, p. 405-422.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Nutrient Removal and Biomass Production in an Outdoor Pilot-Scale Phototrophic Biofilm Reactor for Effluent Polishing

AU - Boelee, N.C.

AU - Janssen, M.

AU - Temmink, H.

AU - Shrestha, R.

AU - Buisman, C.J.N.

AU - Wijffels, R.H.

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - An innovative pilot-scale phototrophic biofilm reactor was evaluated over a 5-month period to determine its capacity to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from Dutch municipal wastewater effluents. The areal biomass production rate ranged between 2.7 and 4.5 g dry weight/m2/day. The areal nitrogen and phosphorus removal rates averaged 0.13 g N/m2/day and 0.023 g P/m2/day, which are low compared to removal rates achieved in laboratory biofilm reactors. Nutrient removal increased during the day, decreased with decreasing light intensity and no removal occurred during the night. Additional carbon dioxide supply was not requisite as the wastewater was comprised of enough inorganic carbon to sustain microalgal growth. The study was not conclusive for the limiting factor that caused the low nutrient removal rate, possibly the process was limited by light and temperature, in combination with pH increases above pH 9 during the daytime. This pilot-scale study demonstrated that the proposed phototrophic biofilm reactor is not a viable post-treatment of municipal wastewater effluents under Dutch climate conditions. However, the reactor performance may be improved when controlling the pH and the temperatures in the morning. With these adaptations, a phototrophic biofilm reactor could be feasible at lower latitudes with higher irradiance levels.

AB - An innovative pilot-scale phototrophic biofilm reactor was evaluated over a 5-month period to determine its capacity to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from Dutch municipal wastewater effluents. The areal biomass production rate ranged between 2.7 and 4.5 g dry weight/m2/day. The areal nitrogen and phosphorus removal rates averaged 0.13 g N/m2/day and 0.023 g P/m2/day, which are low compared to removal rates achieved in laboratory biofilm reactors. Nutrient removal increased during the day, decreased with decreasing light intensity and no removal occurred during the night. Additional carbon dioxide supply was not requisite as the wastewater was comprised of enough inorganic carbon to sustain microalgal growth. The study was not conclusive for the limiting factor that caused the low nutrient removal rate, possibly the process was limited by light and temperature, in combination with pH increases above pH 9 during the daytime. This pilot-scale study demonstrated that the proposed phototrophic biofilm reactor is not a viable post-treatment of municipal wastewater effluents under Dutch climate conditions. However, the reactor performance may be improved when controlling the pH and the temperatures in the morning. With these adaptations, a phototrophic biofilm reactor could be feasible at lower latitudes with higher irradiance levels.

KW - afvalwaterbehandeling

KW - biofilms

KW - algen

KW - biologische waterzuiveringsinstallaties

KW - fototropie

KW - nitraten

KW - fosfaten

KW - waste water treatment

KW - biofilms

KW - algae

KW - biological water treatment plants

KW - phototropism

KW - nitrates

KW - phosphates

KW - waste-water treatment

KW - rate algal pond

KW - marine-phytoplankton

KW - seasonal succession

KW - phosphate-uptake

KW - nitrogen uptake

KW - nitrate uptake

KW - phosphorus

KW - growth

KW - light

U2 - 10.1007/s12010-013-0478-6

DO - 10.1007/s12010-013-0478-6

M3 - Article

VL - 172

SP - 405

EP - 422

JO - Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

JF - Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

SN - 0273-2289

IS - 1

ER -