Dual purpose system that treats anaerobic effluents from pig waste and produce Neochloris oleoabundans as lipid rich biomass
•N. oleoabundans can treat efficiently anaerobic effluents from pig waste and accumulate lipids.•Pre-treatment of anaerobic effluents is low-energy demanding and scalable.•FAMEs profile using anaerobic effluents is suitable for biodiesel production.
Dual purpose systems that treat wastewater and produce lipid rich microalgae biomass have been indicated as an option with great potential for production of biodiesel at a competitive cost. The aim of the present work was to develop a dual purpose system for the treatment of the anaerobic effluents from pig waste utilizing Neochloris oleoabundans and to evaluate its growth, lipid content and lipid profile of the harvested biomass and the removal of nutrients from the media. Cultures of N. oleoabundans were established in 4 L flat plate photobioreactors using diluted effluents from two different types of anaerobic filters, one packed with ceramic material (D1) and another one packed with volcanic gravel (D2). Maximum biomass concentration in D1 was 0.63 g L−1 which was significantly higher than the one found in D2 (0.55 g L−1). Cultures were very efficient at nutrient removal: 98% for NNH4+ and 98% for PO43−. Regarding total lipid content, diluted eflluents from D2 promoted a biomass containing 27.4% (dry weight) and D1 a biomass containing 22.4% (dry weight). Maximum lipid productivity was also higher in D2 compared to D1 (6.27 ± 0.62 mg L−1 d−1 vs. 5.12 ± 0.12 mg L−1 d−1). Concerning the FAMEs profile in diluted effluents, the most abundant one was C18:1, followed by C18:2 and C16:0. The profile in D2 contained less C18:3 (linolenic acid) than the one in D1 (4.37% vs. 5.55%). In conclusion, this is the first report demonstrating that cultures of N. oleoabundans treating anaerobic effluents from pig waste are very efficient at nutrient removal and a biomass rich in lipids can be recovered. The maximum total lipid content and the most convenient FAMEs profile were obtained using effluents from a digester packed with volcanic gravel.
Journal: New Biotechnology - Volume 32, Issue 3, 25 May 2015, Pages 387–395