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Title: Natural Pigments and Biogas Recovery from Microalgae Grown in Wastewater
Authors: Arashiro, Larissa T.
Ferrer, Ivet
Pániker, Catalina C.
Gómez-Pinchetti, Juan Luis 
Rousseau, Diederik P. L.
Van Hulle, Stijn W. H.
Garfí, Marianna
UNESCO Clasification: 339001 Biotecnología de microalgas
330810 Tecnología de aguas residuales
Keywords: Bioproduct
Circular Economy
High Rate Algal Pond
Resources Recovery
Issue Date: 2020
Journal: ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 
Abstract: This study assessed the recovery of natural pigments (phycobiliproteins) and bioenergy (biogas) from microalgae grown in wastewater. A consortium of microalgae, mainly composed by Nostoc, Phormidium, and Geitlerinema, known to have high phycobiliproteins content, was grown in photobioreactors. The growth medium was composed by secondary effluent from a high rate algal pond (HRAP) along with the anaerobic digestion centrate, which aimed to enhance the N/P ratio, given the lack of nutrients in the secondary effluent. Additionally, the centrate is still a challenging anaerobic digestion residue since the high nitrogen concentrations have to be removed before disposal. Removal efficiencies up to 52% of COD, 86% of NH4+-N, and 100% of phosphorus were observed. The biomass composition was monitored over the experimental period in order to ensure stable cyanobacterial dominance in the mixed culture. Phycocyanin and phycoerythrin were extracted from harvested biomass, achieving maximum concentrations of 20.1 and 8.1 mg/g dry weight, respectively. The residual biomass from phycobiliproteins extraction was then used to produce biogas, with final methane yields ranging from 159 to 199 mL CH4/g VS. According to the results, by combining the extraction of pigments and the production of biogas from residual biomass, we would not only obtain high-value compounds, but also more energy (around 5-10% higher), as compared to the single recovery of biogas. The proposed process poses an example of resource recovery from biomass grown in wastewater, moving toward a circular bioeconomy.
ISSN: 2168-0485
DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c01106
Source: ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering [EISSN 2168-0485], v. 8 (29), p. 10691-10701, (Julio 2020)
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