Synergy of flocculation and flotation for microalgae harvesting using aluminium electrolysis

Shi, W, Zhu, L, Chen, Q, Lu, J, Pan, G ORCID: 0000-0003-0920-3018, Hu, L and Yi, Q, 2017. Synergy of flocculation and flotation for microalgae harvesting using aluminium electrolysis. Bioresource Technology, 233, pp. 127-133. ISSN 0960-8524

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Microalgae are often used as feedstock for renewable biofuel production and as pollutant up-takers for wastewater treatment; however, biomass harvesting still remains a challenge in field applications. In this study, electro-flocculation using aluminium electrolysis was tested as a method to collect Chlorella vulgaris. The electrolysis products were positively charged over a wide pH range below 9.5, which gave them a flocculation potential for negatively charged microalgae. As flocculants were in-situ generated and gradually released, microalgae flocs formed in a snowballing mode, resulting in the compaction of large flocs. When higher current density was applied, microalgae could be harvested more rapidly, although there was a trade-off between a higher energy use and more residual aluminium in the culture medium. Benefits of this flocculation method are two-fold: the phosphate decrease in post-harvesting could improve nutrient removal in microalgae based wastewater treatment, while the ammonium increase may favor microalgae recovery for medium recycling.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Bioresource Technology
Creators: Shi, W., Zhu, L., Chen, Q., Lu, J., Pan, G., Hu, L. and Yi, Q.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: 20 February 2017
Volume: 233
ISSN: 0960-8524
S0960852417302079Publisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 14 Mar 2017 11:53
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:13

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