Chlorella vulgaris Growth for Phosphate Removal and Biomass Productivity Utilizing Kenosha Wastewater
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As population increases so does the demand for water resources and efficient renewable fuels. Promising new research involves merging the two: a process involving nutrient removal in wastewater with the harvesting and development of microalgae biofuels. Advances have been made in algae biofuels to not only yield a renewable fuel but algae grown can be used for a variety of uses such as wastewater treatment or as a fertilizer. The purpose of this study is to increase our understanding of how algae interact in wastewater including phosphorus nutrient removal and biomass growth. Chlorella vulgaris was grown in Kenosha County wastewater side streams to determine the step in the wastewater treatment process that is most optimal for algae growth and water nutrient removal. Conditions such as temperature, light, air and CO2 were controlled in an incubator set up at Carthage College. The algae was grown in two wastewater sidestreams: waste activated sludge centrate, digested dewatered solids centrate and the final treated wastewater. Phosphorus concentrations were recorded over time and biomass of the Chlorella vulgaris were determined throughout the experiment. Further experiments can be done to explore these results along with investigating algae’s interaction with wastewater sources, optimal conditions for growth, and biofuel applications.