This study aims at evaluating the process efficiency of an outdoor pilot-scale microalgae-based wastewater treatment system. Experimental results from two monitoring campaigns were analysed, showing that the system removed on average 85.1 % and 36.2 % of the influent ammoniacal nitrogen and orthophosphate, respectively, with an associated algal productivity of 9.5 g TSS center dot m(-2)center dot d(-1). Based on pilot-scale results, a comprehensive technoeconomic assessment was performed, allowing to calculate a biomass production cost of 4.3 euro center dot kg TSS-1 and a wastewater treatment cost of 2.7 euro center dot m(-3) (corresponding to a nitrogen removal cost of 12.5 euro center dot kg N-1). These costs turned out to be comparable with conventional wastewater treatment processes, thus recognizing the potential of microalgae cultivation on wastewaters as feasible alternative to conventional energy-demanding bioremediation systems and to expensive algal cultivation processes. A sensitivity and scenario analysis indicated that, under the most optimistic condition (20 % increase in the productivity, and 20 % OPEX and CAPEX reduction), biomass production and nitrogen removal costs could be further reduced of approximately 44 %.

Microalgal cultivation on digestate: Process efficiency and economics

Rossi S.;Casagli F.;Ficara E.
2023-01-01

Abstract

This study aims at evaluating the process efficiency of an outdoor pilot-scale microalgae-based wastewater treatment system. Experimental results from two monitoring campaigns were analysed, showing that the system removed on average 85.1 % and 36.2 % of the influent ammoniacal nitrogen and orthophosphate, respectively, with an associated algal productivity of 9.5 g TSS center dot m(-2)center dot d(-1). Based on pilot-scale results, a comprehensive technoeconomic assessment was performed, allowing to calculate a biomass production cost of 4.3 euro center dot kg TSS-1 and a wastewater treatment cost of 2.7 euro center dot m(-3) (corresponding to a nitrogen removal cost of 12.5 euro center dot kg N-1). These costs turned out to be comparable with conventional wastewater treatment processes, thus recognizing the potential of microalgae cultivation on wastewaters as feasible alternative to conventional energy-demanding bioremediation systems and to expensive algal cultivation processes. A sensitivity and scenario analysis indicated that, under the most optimistic condition (20 % increase in the productivity, and 20 % OPEX and CAPEX reduction), biomass production and nitrogen removal costs could be further reduced of approximately 44 %.
2023
Sustainable wastewater treatment
Microalgae
Digestate valorisation
Nutrient removal and recovery
Techno-economic assessment
Scenario analysis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1258851
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