Quantifying the potential of microalgae to remove nutrients from wastewater

Type Article
Date 2019
Language English
Author(s) Martinez Carlos1, 2, Mairet FrancisORCID3, Plaza Luis4, Sciandra Antoine2, Bernard Olivier1, 2, 5, 6, 7
Affiliation(s) 1 : UPMC Univ Paris 06, Univ Cote Azur, INRIA, INRA,CNRS,BIOCORE Team, Paris, France.
2 : UPMC Sorbonne, LOV, CNRS, UMR 7093,Stn Zool, BP 28, F-06234 Villefranche Sur Mer, France.
3 : IFREMER, Physiol & Biotechnol Algae Lab, Nantes, France.
4 : Univ Tecn Federico Santa Maria, Dept Ingn Quim & Ambiental, POB 110-5, Valparaiso, Chile.
5 : NTNU, Dept Energy & Proc Engn, Trondheim, Norway.
6 : NTNU, ENERSENSE, Trondheim, Norway.
7 : INRIA Sophia Antipolis, 2004 Route Lucioles,BP 93, F-06902 Sophia Antipolis, France.
Meeting 8th Conference on Foundations of Systems Biology in Engineering (FOBSE), Valencia, SPAIN, OCT 15-18, 2019
Source Ifac Papersonline (2405-8963) (Elsevier), 2019 , Vol. 52 , N. 26 , P. 287-292
DOI 10.1016/j.ifacol.2019.12.272
Keyword(s) Control, Biotechnology, Wastewater treatment, Microalgae, Cell quota model

The main resources limiting microalgae growth are typically phosphorus, nitrogen, and light. Based on the theory of the light limited chemostat, the variable cell quota approach, and photoacclimation models, we build a mathematical model for describing microalgae growth under limitation by these resources. The model is calibrated with a data set from the literature. Then, by numerical simulations, we find that under constant operation of the culture and constant environmental conditions (illumination, temperature, pH, etc.), solutions of the model approach towards either a positive or an extinction steady state. Based on the positive steady state, and in the context of wastewater treatment, we evaluate the capacity of microalgae to remove contaminants. We showed that the impacts of depth, incident light intensity, and dilution rate (or hydraulic retention time) have a crucial role on the optimization of the nutrient removal efficiency.

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