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Title: Integral microalgae-bacteria model (BIO_ALGAE): Application to wastewater high rate algal ponds

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Journal Article: Publisher's Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science of the Total Environment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 601-602; Journal Issue: C; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2018-01-16 20:11:45; Journal ID: ISSN 0048-9697
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Solimeno, Alessandro, Parker, Lauren, Lundquist, Tryg, and García, Joan. Integral microalgae-bacteria model (BIO_ALGAE): Application to wastewater high rate algal ponds. Netherlands: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.05.215.
Solimeno, Alessandro, Parker, Lauren, Lundquist, Tryg, & García, Joan. Integral microalgae-bacteria model (BIO_ALGAE): Application to wastewater high rate algal ponds. Netherlands. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.05.215.
Solimeno, Alessandro, Parker, Lauren, Lundquist, Tryg, and García, Joan. 2017. "Integral microalgae-bacteria model (BIO_ALGAE): Application to wastewater high rate algal ponds". Netherlands. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.05.215.
title = {Integral microalgae-bacteria model (BIO_ALGAE): Application to wastewater high rate algal ponds},
author = {Solimeno, Alessandro and Parker, Lauren and Lundquist, Tryg and García, Joan},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.05.215},
journal = {Science of the Total Environment},
number = C,
volume = 601-602,
place = {Netherlands},
year = 2017,
month =

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This content will become publicly available on May 31, 2018
Publisher's Accepted Manuscript

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  • High Rate Algal Ponds (HRPs) are multi-channel racetrack designs 0.2-0.5 meters deep, with pump or paddlewheel mixing, operated at 2-10 days detention time. HRPs produce higher algal concentrations (200-300 mg/L) than conventional oxidation ponds, requiring effluent algal removal to meet discharge limits. This study investigated the long-term performance of bioflocculation and sedimentation for HRP algal removal. Thirteen experiments were conducted between April 1980 and November 1982 using two 0.1 ha paddlewheel mixed HRPs at the University of California at Berkeley's Sanitary Engineering and Environmental Health Research Laboratory. Most experiments were conducted at 35 cm depth, with hydraulic loading varied seasonallymore » to maintain settleability in response to changing insolation. Continuous 12 cm/sec paddlewheel mixing with consistent primary effluent hydraulic loading (4-11 cm/day) and sunlight loading (30-60 Kcal/L) were essential for maintaining high settleability. Bioflocculation and increased settleability were able to be induced in non-settleable ponds within several days to a few weeks after 12 cm/sec continuous paddlewheel mixing was started. Variable hydraulic loading temporarily decreases HRP settleability. Mixed HRPs achieved over 90% 24 hour TSS removals (11 mg/L) during 83 weeks of stable operation versus less than 50% (77 mg/L) for unmixed HRPS. Settling column removals reached 48% in 30 minutes (60 cm/hr) and 69% in 120 minutes under stable operational conditions. Algal morphology and settleability varied with operational and climatic conditions, with colonial Micractinium and Scenedesmus dominant. Unmixed HRPs produced minimally settleable colonies.« less
  • During the course of operating high-rate algae ponds (HRAP) for wastewater treatment and protein production, changes were found in the two main algae species. The observed changes were interpreted to be a reflection of the operation regime and loading combined with environmental conditions. To verify that these changes were phenotypic and not genetic, experiments were conducted on Scenedesmus dimorphus growing in miniponds (110 L) as well as in the laboratory. The results showed that the changes in Scenedesmus dimorphus were external and due to the changes in the loading and operating conditions of the ponds adjusted to changing environmental conditions.more » It was found that wastewater treatment efficiency and algal yield are also correlated with the Scenedesmus dimorphus type. (Refs. 25).« less
  • A microalgae biomass growth model was developed for screening novel strains for their potential to exhibit high biomass productivities under nutrient-replete conditions in photobioreactors or outdoor ponds. Growth is modeled by first estimating the light attenuation by biomass according to Beer-Lambert’s law, and then calculating the specific growth rate in discretized culture volume slices that receive declining light intensities due to attenuation. The model requires only two physical and two species-specific biological input parameters, all of which are relatively easy to determine: incident light intensity, culture depth, as well as the biomass light absorption coefficient and the specific growth ratemore » as a function of light intensity. Roux bottle culture experiments were performed with Nannochloropsis salina at constant temperature (23 °C) at six different incident light intensities (5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, and 850 μmol/m2∙ sec) to determine both the specific growth rate under non-shading conditions and the biomass light absorption coefficient as a function of light intensity. The model was successful in predicting the biomass growth rate in these Roux bottle cultures during the light-limited linear phase at different incident light intensities. Model predictions were moderately sensitive to minor variations in the values of input parameters. The model was also successful in predicting the growth performance of Chlorella sp. cultured in LED-lighted 800 L raceway ponds operated at constant temperature (30 °C) and constant light intensity (1650 μmol/m2∙ sec). Measurements of oxygen concentrations as a function of time demonstrated that following exposure to darkness, it takes at least 5 seconds for cells to initiate dark respiration. As a result, biomass loss due to dark respiration in the aphotic zone of a culture is unlikely to occur in highly mixed small-scale photobioreactors where cells move rapidly in and out of the light. By contrast, as supported also by the growth model, biomass loss due to dark respiration occurs in the dark zones of the relatively less well mixed pond cultures. In addition to screening novel microalgae strains for high biomass productivities, the model can also be used for optimizing the pond design and operation. Additional research is needed to validate the biomass growth model for other microalgae species and for the more realistic case of fluctuating temperatures and light intensities observed in outdoor pond cultures.« less
  • Theoretical considerations confirmed by outdoor experiments indicated carbon limitation of biomass production in high-rate oxidation ponds at certain seasonal and operational conditions. Apparently, free carbon dioxide concentration in the pond is the major determinant of carbon-limiting algal photosynthesis. High concentrations of free CO/sub 2/ are provided through bacterial respiration which is the main contributor to algal photosynthesis. At high photosynthetic activities and low organic loadings, free CO/sub 2/ concentrations are low; its flux into algal cells determines photosynthesis and biomass production rate in the pond.