Advances in algal-prokaryotic wastewater treatment: A review of nitrogen transformations, reactor configurations and molecular tools

Meng Wang, Ryan Keeley, Nadezhda Zalivina, Trina Halfhide, Kathleen Scott, Qiong Zhang, Peter van der Steen, Sarina J. Ergas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The synergistic activity of algae and prokaryotic microorganisms can be used to improve the efficiency of biological wastewater treatment, particularly with regards to nitrogen removal. For example, algae can provide oxygen through photosynthesis needed for aerobic degradation of organic carbon and nitrification and harvested algal-prokaryotic biomass can be used to produce high value chemicals or biogas. Algal-prokaryotic consortia have been used to treat wastewater in different types of reactors, including waste stabilization ponds, high rate algal ponds and closed photobioreactors. This review addresses the current literature and identifies research gaps related to the following topics: 1) the complex interactions between algae and prokaryotes in wastewater treatment; 2) advances in bioreactor technologies that can achieve high nitrogen removal efficiencies in small reactor volumes, such as algal-prokaryotic biofilm reactors and enhanced algal-prokaryotic treatment systems (EAPS); 3) molecular tools that have expanded our understanding of the activities of algal and prokaryotic communities in wastewater treatment processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-857
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume217
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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