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Improved Algal Harvesting Using Suspended Air Flotation

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Abstract:

Current methods to remove algae from a liquid medium are energy intensive and expensive. This study characterized algae contained within a wastewater oxidation pond and sought to identify a more efficient harvesting technique. Analysis of oxidation pond wastewater revealed that algae, consisting primarily of Chlorella and Scenedesmus, composed approximately 80% of the solids inventory during the study period. Results demonstrated that suspended air flotation (SAF) could harvest algae with a lower air:solids (A/S) ratio, lower energy requirements, and higher loading rates compared to dissolved air flotation (DAF) ( P < 0.001). Identification of a more efficient algal harvesting system may benefit wastewater treatment plants by enabling cost effective means to reduce solids content of the final effluent. Furthermore, use of SAF to harvest commercially grown Chlorella and Scenedesmus may reduce manufacturing costs of algal-based products such as fuel, fertilizer, and fish food.

Keywords: Chlorella; Scenedesmus; Suspended air flotation (SAF); air:solids (A/S) ratio; algae; dissolved air flotation (DAF); wastewater

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143009X407474

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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