Cultivation of microalgae species in tertiary municipal wastewater supplemented with CO2 for nutrient removal and biomass production

Min Kyu Ji, Reda A.I. Abou-Shanab, Seong Heon Kim, El Sayed Salama, Sang Hun Lee, Akhil N. Kabra, Youn Suk Lee, Sungwoo Hong, Byong Hun Jeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Citations (Scopus)


This study demonstrates the potential for algae-based biofuel production by coupling advanced wastewater treatment with microalgae cultivation for low-cost lipid production. Three species (Chlorella vulgaris, Scenedesmus obliquus and Ourococcus multisporus) with higher biomass yield were selected and cultured in wastewater amended with 15% CO2. C. vulgaris, S. obliquus and O. multisporus showed optimal specific growth rates (μopt) of 1.37, 1.14 and 1.00 day-1, respectively, and almost complete removal (>99%) of nitrogen and phosphorus within 4 days. The highest specific lipid productivity was 0.164g-lipidsg-cell-1 day-1 and oleic acid was increased to 44% in C. vulgaris after 7 days of cultivation in the presence of CO2. It was concluded that C. vulgaris is a good potential source for the production of biodiesel coupled with nutrient removal from wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-148
Number of pages7
JournalEcological Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sep

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Senior Researchers program (the National Research Foundation of Korea , 2010-0026904 ), the Eco-Innovation project (Global-Top project) of the Korea Ministry of Environment, and the Brain Korea-21 (BK-21) program of the Korea Ministry of Education, Science & Technology (MEST).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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