Bioresource Technology, Vol.249, 99-107, 2018
Carbon-dependent alleviation of ammonia toxicity for algae cultivation and associated mechanisms exploration
Ammonia toxicity in wastewater is one of the factors that limit the application of algae technology in wastewater treatment. This work explored the correlation between carbon sources and ammonia assimilation and applied a glucose-assisted nitrogen starvation method to alleviate ammonia toxicity. In this study, ammonia toxicity to Chlorella sp. was observed when NH3-N concentration reached 28.03 mM in artificial wastewater. Addition of alpha-ketoglutarate in wastewater promoted ammonia assimilation, but low utilization efficiency and high cost of alpha-ketoglutarate limits its application in wastewater treatment. Comparison of three common carbon sources, glucose, citric acid, and sodium bicarbonate, indicates that in terms of ammonia assimilation, glucose is the best carbon source. Experimental results suggest that organic carbon with good ability of generating energy and hydride donor may be critical to ammonia assimilation. Nitrogen starvation treatment assisted by glucose increased ammonia removal efficiencies and algal viabilities.