Nutrient removal and microalgal biomass production on urine in a short light-path photobioreactor

K. Tuantet, B.G. Temmink, G. Zeeman, M.G.J. Janssen, R.H. Wijffels, C.J.N. Buisman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


Due to the high nitrogen and phosphorus content, source-separated urine can serve as a major nutrient source for microalgae production. The aim of this study was to evaluate the nutrient removal rate and the biomass production rate of Chlorella sorokiniana being grown continuously in urine employing a short light-path photobioreactor. The results demonstrated, for the first time, the possibility of continuous microalgae cultivation in human urine. The lowest dilution factor successfully employed was a factor of 2 (50% v/v urine). Microalgae dominated a smaller bacterial population and were responsible for more than 90% of total nitrogen and phosphorus removal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-174
JournalWater Research
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • water treatment
  • bioreactors
  • phosphates
  • nitrogen
  • recovery
  • new sanitation
  • biomass production
  • urine
  • algae culture
  • biobased economy
  • chlorella-sorokiniana
  • spirulina-platensis
  • anaerobic treatment
  • black water
  • phosphorus
  • management
  • efficiency
  • vulgaris
  • biofuels


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