Porphyridium cruentum Grown in Ultra-Filtered Swine Wastewater and Its Effects on Microalgae Growth Productivity and Fatty Acid Composition

Abstract

Microalgae have been extensively tested for their ability to create bio-based fuels. Microalgae have also been explored as an alternative wastewater treatment solution due to their significant uptake of nitrogen and phosphorus, as well as their ability to grow in different water types. Recently, there has been significant interest in combining these two characteristics to create economic and environmentally friendly biofuel using wastewater. This study examined the growth and lipid production of the microalgae Porphyridium (P.) cruentum grown in swine wastewater (ultra-filtered and raw) as compared with control media (L−1, modified f/2) at two different salt concentrations (seawater and saltwater). The cultivation of P. cruentum in the treated swine wastewater media (seawater = 5.18 ± 2.3 mgL−1day−1, saltwater = 3.32 ± 1.93 mgL−1day−1) resulted in a statistically similar biomass productivity compared to the control medium (seawater = 2.61 ± 2.47 mgL−1day−1, saltwater = 6.53 ± 0.81 mgL−1day−1) at the corresponding salt concentration. Furthermore, no major differences between the fatty acid compositions of microalgae in the treated swine wastewater medium and the control medium were observed. For all conditions, saturated acids were present in the highest amounts (≥67%), followed by polyunsaturated (≤22%) and finally monounsaturated (≤12%). This is the first study to find that P. cruentum could be used to remediate wastewater and then be turned into fuel by using swine wastewater with a similar productivity to the microalgae grown in control media

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