Bioresource Technology, Vol.152, 437-443, 2014
Anaerobic digestate as substrate for microalgae culture: The role of ammonium concentration on the microalgae productivity
In spite of the increasing interest received by microalgae as potential alternatives for biofuel production, the technology is still not industrially viable. The utilization of digestate as carbon and nutrients source can enhance microalgal growth reducing costs and environmental impacts. This work assesses microalgal growth utilizing the liquid phase of anaerobic digestate effluent as substrate. The effect of inoculum/substrate ratio on microalgal growth was studied in a laboratory batch experiment conduced in 0.5 L flasks. Results suggested that digestate may be an effective substrate for microalgal growth promoting biomass production up to 2.6 gTSS/L. Microalgal growth rate was negatively affected by a self-shading phenomenon, while biomass production was positively correlated with the inoculum and substrate concentrations. Thus, the increasing of both digestate and microalgal initial concentration may reduce the initial growth rate (mu from 0.9 to 0.04 d(-1)) but significantly enhances biomass production (from 0.1 to 2.6 gTSS/L). (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.