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Microalgae for Environmental Remediation: Case Study - Phosphorus Removal at the Salton Sea

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The Controlled Eutrophication Process (CEP), developed by Clemson University and Kent BioEnergy was operated adjacent to one of the three main tributaries to the Salton Sea, the Whitewater River. Results from pilot scale studies show that phosphorus conversion rates increased with increasing hydraulic retention time. Phosphorus concentrations were reduced from 2.2 mg/L to 0.1 to 0.6 mg/L, 0.1 to 0.2 mg/L for shallow units, 0.3 to 0.6 mg/L for deep units. The phosphorus uptake rate for shallow units was 0.07 - 0.15 g P /m2/day as compared to 0.12 - 0.18 g P /m2/day (deep units). The results indicated that 80-90% of the phosphorus present in the Whitewater River (WWR) could be successfully converted to algae biomass using CEP technology. The best case estimated required CEP treatment area for future flows of 1,515 M3 per min is 2,300 hectares, removing 1,000 tones of phosphorus annually.
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Keywords: Algae production; Nutrient remediation; Phosphorus uptake

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2010

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