Bioremediation and lipid synthesis through mixotrophic algal consortia in municipal wastewater
Durga Madhab Mahapatra a,b                H.N. Chanakya b,c                Ramachandra T V a,b,c,*
a Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Center for Ecological Sciences [CES], b Centre for Sustainable Technologies (astra), c Centre for infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning [CiSTUP],
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Karnataka, 560 012, India
*Corresponding author:
Citation : Durga Madhab Mahapatra, H N Chanakya, Ramachandra. T.V, Bioresource Technology, Volume xxx 2014, 1-9 pages.
Keywords : Mixotrophic algal consortia, Lipid, Wastewater treatment, GC–MS, SEM-EDXA
Publisher : Elsevier Ltd.


Algae grown in outdoor reactors (volume: 10 L and depth: 20 cm) were fed directly with filtered and sterilised municipal wastewater. The nutrient removal efficiencies were 86%, 90%, 89%, 70% and 76% for TOC, TN, NH -N, TP and OP, respectively, and lipid content varied from 18% to 28.5% of dry algal biomass. Biomass productivity of ~122 mg/l/d (surface productivity 24.4 g/m2/d) and lipid productivity of ~32 mg/l/d were recorded. Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC–MS) analyses of the fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) showed a higher content of desirable fatty acids (bearing biofuel properties) with major contributions from saturates such as palmitic acid [C16:0; ~40%] and stearic acid [C18:0; ~34%], followed by unsaturates such as oleic acid [C18:1(9); ~10%] and linoleic acid [C18:2(9,12); ~5%]. The decomposition of algal biomass and reactor residues with an exothermic heat content of 123.4 J/g provides the scope for further energy derivation.

* Corresponding Author :
  Dr. T.V. Ramachandra
Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560 012, India.
Tel : 91-80-23600985 / 22932506 / 22933099, Fax : 91-80-23601428 / 23600085 / 23600683 [CES-TVR]
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