Algal-based, single-step treatment of urban wastewaters

S. M. Henkanatte-Gedera, T. Selvaratnam, N. Caskan, N. Nirmalakhandan, W. Van Voorhies, Peter J. Lammers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Currently, urban wastewaters (UWW) laden with organic carbon (BOD) and nutrients (ammoniacal nitrogen, N, and phosphates, P) are treated in multi-stage, energy-intensive process trains to meet the mandated discharge standards. This study presents a single-step process based on mixotrophic metabolism for simultaneous removal of carbon and nutrients from UWWs. The proposed system is designed specifically for hot, arid environments utilizing an acidophilic, thermotolerant algal species, Galdieria sulphuraria, and an enclosed photobioreactor to limit evaporation. Removal rates of BOD, N, and P recorded in this study (14.93, 7.23, and 1.38mgL-1d-1, respectively) are comparable to literature reports. These results confirm that the mixotrophic system can reduce the energy costs associated with oxygen supply in current UWW treatment systems, and has the potential to generate more energy-rich biomass for net energy extraction from UWW.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-278
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Galdieria sulphuraria
  • Mixotrophic metabolism
  • Nutrient removal
  • Organic removal
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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