Bioresource Technology, Vol.158, 166-173, 2014
Microalgae-mediated simultaneous treatment of toxic thiocyanate and production of biodiesel
In this work, a method for simultaneously degrading the toxic pollutant, thiocyanate, and producing microalgal lipids using mixed microbial communities was developed. Aerobic activated sludge was used as the seed culture and thiocyanate was used as the sole nitrogen source. Two cultivation methods were sequentially employed: a lithoautotrophic mode and a photoautotrophic mode. Thiocyanate hydrolysis and a nitrification was found to occur under the first (lithoautotrophic) condition, while the oxidized forms of nitrogen were assimilated by the photoautotrophic consortium and lipids were produced under the second condition. The final culture exhibited good settling efficiency (similar to 70% settling over 10 min), which can benefit downstream processing. The highest CO2 fixation rate and lipid productivity were observed with 2.5% and 5% CO2, respectively. The proposed integrated algal-bacterial system appears to be a feasible and even beneficial option for thiocyanate treatment and production of microbial lipids. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.