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  • 1.
    Anbalagan, Anbarasan
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
    A passage to wastewater nutrient recovery units: Microalgal-Bacterial bioreactors2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, the microalgal–bacterial process has been considered to be a very attractive engineering solution for wastewater treatment. However, it has not been widely studied in the context of conventional wastewater treatment design under Swedish conditions. The technology holds several advantages: as a CO2 sink, ability to withstand cold conditions, ability to grow under low light, fast settling without chemical precipitation, and reducing the loss of valuable nutrients (CO2, N2, N2O, PO4). The process also provides the option to be operated either as mainstream (treatment of municipal wastewater) or side stream (treatment of centrate from anaerobic digesters) to reduce the nutrient load of the wastewater. Furthermore, the application is not only limited to wastewater treatment; the biomass can be used to synthesise platform chemicals or biofuels and can be followed by recovery of ammonium and phosphate for use in agriculture.

    In the present study, the feasibility of applying the process in Swedish temperature and light conditions was investigated by implementing microalgae within the activated sludge process. In this context, the supporting operational and performance indicators (hydraulic retention time (HRT), sludge retention time (SRT) and nutrients removal) were evaluated to support naturally occurring consortia in photo-sequencing and continuous bioreactor configuration. Furthermore, CO2 uptake and light spectrum-mediated nutrient removal were investigated to reduce the impact on climate and the technical challenges associated with this type of system.

    The results identified effective retention times of 6 and 4 days (HRT = SRT) under limited lighting to reduce the electrical consumption. From the perspective of nitrogen removal, the process demands effective CO2 input either in the mainstream or side stream treatment. The incorporation of a vertical absorption column demonstrated effective CO2 mass transfer to support efficient nitrogen and phosphorus removal as a side stream treatment. However, the investigation of a continuous single-stage process as the mainstream showed a requirement for a lower SRT in comparison to semi-continuous operation due to faster settlability, regardless of inorganic carbon. Furthermore, the process showed an effective reduction of influent phosphorus and organic compounds (i.e. COD/TOC) load in the wastewater as a result of photosynthetic aeration. Most importantly, the operation was stable at the temperature equivalent of wastewater (12 and 13 ˚C), under different lighting (white, and red-blue wavelengths) and retention times (6 and 1.5 d HRT) with complete nitrification. Additionally, the biomass production was stable with faster settling properties without any physiochemical separation.

    The outcomes of this thesis on microalgal–bacterial nutrient removal demonstrates that (1) photosynthesis-based aeration at existing wastewater conditions under photo-sequential and continuous photobioreactor setup, (2) flocs with rapid settling characteristics at all studied retention times, (3) the possibility of increasing carbon supplementation to achieve higher carbon to nitrogen balance in the photobioreactor, and (4) most importantly, nitrification-based microalgal biomass uptake occurred at all spectral distributions, lower photosynthetic active radiation and existing wastewater conditions.

  • 2.
    Anbalagan, Anbarasan
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Indigenous microalgae-activated sludge cultivation system for wastewater treatment2016Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The municipal wastewater is mainly composed of water containing anthropogenic wastes that are rich in nutrients such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous. The cost for biological treatment of wastewater is increasing globally due to the population growth in urban cities. In general, the activated sludge (AS) process is a biological nutrient removal process used in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The AS is composed of different microorganisms in which bacteria play a crucial role in wastewater treatment (WWT). During the process, air is bubbled to supply oxygen and methanol is added to improve nitrogen removal, which is released as a gas. Phosphorous is removed in the expense of precipitation chemicals. Altogether, the current process requires electrical energy, precipitation chemicals, handling of excess sludge and it emits carbon dioxide (CO2) as a by-product. This process is still in practise in the WWTPs since 1914 although numerous modifications are implemented to meet the stringent regulations in the European Union and globally.

    Microalgae are microorganisms that perform photosynthesis like plants. They are green and reproduce fast using available nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) and CO2 from their environment in the presence of light. As a result of photosynthesis, oxygen is released as waste gas. The synthesised oxygen during this process can be implemented to support the AS bacteria that leads to the microalgae activated sludge (MAAS) process. The main advantage is combined removal of nutrients.

    The vision of the research is to implement the indigenous microalgae cultivation in activated sludge process to consume CO2 and recover the nutrients from wastewater. This study is performed to improve the understanding of the process such as: light utilisation, nutrient removal and recovery of the biomass from wastewater in closed photo-bioreactors. Photo-bioreactors are vessels where the cultivation is carried out in the presence of light. At first, the influence of the light spectrum on micro-algal cultivation is investigated for photosynthetic growth. This is followed by operational challenges of the microalgae cultivation during the AS process. The process is experimentally performed in the photo-bioreactors with different treatment time of the raw wastewater. The results showed that 2 - 6 days of treatment time can be used for reducing nutrients in wastewater if the process is optimised further. Also, nutrient ratio is analysed for the availability of the micro-algal growth. Furthermore, the biogas potential of MAAS showed a biogas yield of about 60-80% within 5 to 9 days.

    At last, the experimental verification of chemically precipitated wastewater showed limitation of phosphorous for micro-algal growth. Additionally, the optimal oxygen supply through light response is verified for photo-bioreactors. The outcome of this study shows that knowing the right conditions can lower the treatment time. By doing so, a stable nutrient removal and reduction of precipitation chemicals can be established as well as a better recovery of valuable nutrients as phosphorous and nitrogen.

  • 3.
    Anbalagan, Anbarasan
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Jeanette Castro, Cynthia
    University of Massachusetts Amherst, US.
    Schwede, Sebastian
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Lindberg, Carl-Fredrik
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center. ABB AB Corporate Research, Sweden.
    Nehrenheim, Emma
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center. Northvolt AB, Sweden.
    Butler, Caitlyn
    University of Massachusetts Amherst, US.
    Influence of environmental stress on the microalgal-bacterial process during nitrogen removalManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Anbalagan, Anbarasan
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Lindberg, Carl-Fredrik
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Nehrenheim, Emma
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Influence of light intensity and phosphorous on microalgae activated sludge in phosphate precipitated conditionManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Anbalagan, Anbarasan
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center. University of Valladolid, Dr. Mergelina s/n, Valladolid, Spain.
    Toledo-Cervantes, A.
    University of Valladolid, Dr. Mergelina s/n, Valladolid, Spain.
    Posadas, E.
    University of Valladolid, Dr. Mergelina s/n, Valladolid, Spain.
    Rojo, E. M.
    University of Valladolid, Dr. Mergelina s/n, Valladolid, Spain.
    Lebrero, R.
    University of Valladolid, Dr. Mergelina s/n, Valladolid, Spain.
    González-Sánchez, A.
    University of Valladolid, Dr. Mergelina s/n, Valladolid, Spain.
    Nehrenheim, Emma
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Muñoz, R.
    University of Valladolid, Dr. Mergelina s/n, Valladolid, Spain.
    Continuous photosynthetic abatement of CO2 and volatile organic compounds from exhaust gas coupled to wastewater treatment: Evaluation of tubular algal-bacterial photobioreactor2017In: Journal of CO2 Utilization, ISSN 2212-9820, E-ISSN 2212-9839, Vol. 21, p. 353-359Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The continuous abatement of CO2 and toluene from the exhaust gas by an indigenous microalgal-bacterial consortium was investigated in a pilot tubular photobioreactor interconnected to an absorption column using diluted centrate in seawater as a free nutrient source. The removal efficiency of CO2 and toluene was maximised in the vertical absorption column by identifying an optimum liquid to gas (L/G) ratio of 15. The photobioreactor supported steady-state nitrogen and phosphorus removals of 91 ± 2% and 95 ± 4% using 15% diluted centrate at 14 and 7 d of hydraulic retention time (HRT), respectively. A decrease in the removal efficiencies of nitrogen (36 ± 5%) and phosphorus (58 ± 10%) was recorded when using 30% diluted centrate at 7 d of HRT. The volumetric biomass productivities obtained at an HRT of 7 d accounted for 42 ± 11 and 80 ± 3 mg TSS L-1 d-1 using 15 and 30% centrate, respectively. Stable CO2 (76 ± 7%) and toluene removals (89 ± 5%) were achieved at an L/G ratio of 15 regardless of the HRT or centrate dilution. Hence, this study demonstrated the potential of algal-bacterial systems for the continuous removal of CO2 and volatile organic compounds from exhaust gas coupled with the simultaneous treatment of centrate. 

  • 6.
    Chaudhary, R.
    et al.
    Indian Inst Technol, Ctr Environm Sci & Engn, Maharashtra, India.
    Tong, Y. W.
    Natl Univ Singapore, Dept Chem & Biomol Engn, Singapore..
    Dikshit, Anil Kumar
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center. IndianInst Technol, Ctr Environm Sci & Engn, Maharashtra, India; Asian Inst Technol, Sch Environm Resources & Dev, Pathumthani,Thailand.
    CO2-assisted removal of nutrients from municipal wastewater by microalgae Chlorella vulgaris and Scenedesmus obliquus2018In: International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 1735-1472, E-ISSN 1735-2630, Vol. 15, no 10, p. 2183-2192Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Axenic culture of microalgae Chlorella vulgaris ATCC((R)) 13482 and Scenedesmus obliquus FACHB 417 was used for phycoremediation of primary municipal wastewater. The main aim of this study was to measure the effects of normal air and CO2-augmented air on the removal efficacy of nutrients (ammonia N and phosphate P) from municipal wastewater by the two microalgae. Batch experiments were carried out in cylindrical glass bottles of 1L working volume at 25 degrees C and cool fluorescent light of 6500lux maintaining 14/10h of light/dark cycle with normal air supplied at 0.2Lmin(-1) per liter of the liquid for both algal strains for the experimental period. In the next set of experiments, the treatment process was enhanced by using 1, 2 and 5% CO2/air (vol./vol.) supply into microalgal cultures. The enrichment of inlet air with CO2 was found to be beneficial. The maximum removal of 76.3 and 76% COD, 94.2 and 92.6% ammonia, and 94.8 and 93.1% phosphate after a period of 10days was reported for C. vulgaris and S. obliquus, respectively, with 5% CO2/air supply. Comparing the two microalgae, maximum removal rates of ammonia and phosphate by C. vulgaris were 4.12 and 1.75mgL(-1)day(-1), respectively, at 5% CO2/air supply. From kinetic study data, it was found that the specific rates of phosphate utilization (q(phsophate)) by C. vulgaris and S. obliquus at 5% CO2/air supply were 1.98 and 2.11day(-1), respectively. Scale-up estimation of a reactor removing phosphate (the criteria pollutant) from 50 MLD wastewater influent was also done.

  • 7.
    Chusova, Olga
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Nolvak, H.
    Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Vanemuise 46, Tartu 51014, Estonia.
    Nehrenheim, Emma
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Truu, J.
    University of Tartu, Estonia.
    Odlare, Monica
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Oopkaup, K.
    University of Tartu, Estonia.
    Truu, M.
    University of Tartu, Estonia.
    Effect of pine bark on the biotransformation of trinitrotoluene and on the bacterial community structure in a batch experiment2014In: Environmental technology, ISSN 0959-3330, E-ISSN 1479-487X, Vol. 35, no 19, p. 2456-2465Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Pine bark, a low-cost industrial residue, has been suggested as a promising substitute for granular activated carbon in the on-site treatment of water contaminated with 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT). However, the complex organic structure and indigenous microbial community of pine bark have thus far not been thoroughly described in the context of TNT-contaminated water treatment. This two-week batch study examined the removal efficiency of TNT from water by (1) adsorption on pine bark and (2) simultaneous adsorption on pine bark and biotransformation by specialized TNT-biotransforming microbial inocula. The bacterial community composition of experimental batches, inocula and pine bark, was profiled by Illumina sequencing of the V6 region ofthe 16S rRNA gene. The results revealed that the inocula and experimental batches were dominated by phylotypes belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae family and that the tested inocula had good potential for TNT biotransformation. The type of applied inocula had the most profound effect on the TNT-transforming bacterial community structure in the experimental batches. The indigenous microbial community of pine bark harboured phylotypes that also have a potential to degrade TNT. Altogether, the combination of a specialized inoculum and pine bark proved to be the most efficient treatment option for TNT-contaminated water.

  • 8.
    Kanders, Linda
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center. Purac AB.
    Start-up and operational strategies for deammonification plants: - a study with one-stage moving bed biofilm reactors treating reject water2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    To limit eutrophication, wastewater treatment plants use biological methods to convert degraded nitrogen to nitrogen gas. Deammonification, or partial nitritation in combination with anammox, has been shown to be an energy efficient process. This process is currently implemented in approximately 150 full-scale plants, and mainly on reject waters, the liquid fraction after dewatering of anaerobic digestion at municipal wastewater treatment plants. Implementation has been impeded by the slow growth of anammox bacteria, and 99% of the full-scale plants using the process have been using different methods to inoculate the process with anammox bacteria from elsewhere. Separate reject water installations, however, have shown high nitrous oxide emissions, which could increase the total carbon footprint.

    The objective of this thesis was to develop and validate a start-up concept using the moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) technique applied to reject water, and to investigate how the operational strategies could be optimized to limit potential nitrous oxide emissions. The results show that a one-stage deammonification process based on the MBBR technology with indigenous anammox bacteria originating from the reject water can be set up within a applicable time frame (<100 days). This was validated in two laboratory reactors and in two full-scale studies. Reject water originating from both mesophilic and thermophilic digested sludge was used. Anammox growth and nitrogen reduction were detected with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and chemical analysis, respectively. The start-up time was 72 days in the laboratory and 120 days in full-scale. In laboratory scale, there was no improvement in start-up time when adding external anammox inoculum. Results from a screening study of seven reject waters and their content of anammox bacteria using qPCR indicated the presence of 104–105 genome units anammox per mL in reject water, which could be sufficient for starting up deammonification plants within an applicable time frame.

    A final case study shows the potential of decreasing nitrous oxide emissions when a full-scale plant treating reject water was modified from nitrification/denitrification using a Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) to a deammonification process using the MBBR technique. The nitrous oxide emissions decreased from 10% to 0.1–0.7% of total nitrogen load with the change of operation mode. Further optimization by pH set point led to lower emission values. This effect is thought to be linked to the lower aeration ratio and increase in complete denitrification of dissolved nitrous oxide at higher pH.

  • 9.
    Kanders, Linda
    Purac AB, Sweden.
    Swedish Experience of the Deammonification Process in a Biofilm System2011In: Swedish experience with deammonification process in biofilm system, 2011, p. 1333-1345Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Based on results from many years of pilot plant experiments a one-stage deammonification

    process for treatment of supernatant from dewatering of digested sludge has been applied in a

    full scale at the Himmerfjärden wastewater treatment plant in the Stockholm region. The plant

    was designed for nitrogen load of 480 kg d-1 and is based on the Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor

    (MBBR), with about 32% of its volume filled with suspended carriers (K1H, Kaldnes®). An

    outer biofilm layer performs nitritation while an inner layer the anammox reaction.

    Experience gained from more than 2 years of operation of the plant is presented in the paper. After an

    effective start–up period of about 6-7 months (totally 10 months) over 80% nitrogen removal

    efficiency was obtained and nitrogen removal rates reached almost 2g m-2 d at a temperature of

    28 oC. The nitrite production was the limiting step for the anammox reaction. Intermittent

    aeration was used to secure a suitable ratio of aerobic and anaerobic conditions in the biofilm.

    Inhibition of the ammonia oxidizers was observed at concentrations over 15 mg l-1 of free

    ammonia as NH3. The free ammonia was controlled by a combination of different strategies

    including aeration time, influent load and effluent recirculation. Conductivity proved to be a

    suitable tool for the process monitoring.

  • 10.
    Kanders, Linda
    et al.
    Purac AB, Sweden.
    Areskoug, Therese
    Lunds universitet, Sweden.
    Schneider, Yvonne
    Leibniz Universitaet Hannover, Geramany.
    Ling, Daniel
    Purac AB, Sweden.
    Punzi, Marisa
    Lunds universitet, Sweden.
    Beier, Maike
    Leibniz Universitaet Hannover, Geramany.
    Impact of seeding on the start-up of one-stage deammonification MBBRs2014In: Environmental technology, ISSN 0959-3330, E-ISSN 1479-487X, Vol. 35, no 22, p. 2767-2773Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Treating nitrogen-rich reject water from anaerobically digested sludge with deammonification has become a very beneficial side stream process. One common technique is the one-stage moving bed bioreactors (MBBRs), which in comparison with the other deammonification techniques can be started up without seeding anammox bacteria. This study investigated the impact of biofilm seeding on the start-up of one-stage deammonification MBBRs. Two lab-scale reactors were run in parallel with partial nitritation for 56 days until 11% of the carrier area in one reactor was replaced with fully developed deammonification biofilm to work as the seeding material. The seeded reactor started nitrogen reduction immediately up to a plateau of 1.3gNm−2 d−1; after another 54 days on day 110, the reduction significantly increased. At the same time, the non-seeded reactor also started to reduce nitrogen due to deammonification. The development was followed with both nitrogen analyses and fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses. On day 134, the biofilm in both reactors contained >90% anammox bacteria and reached maximum nitrogen removal rates of 7.5 and 5.6gNm−2 d−1 in the seeded and non-seeded reactor, respectively. Over 80% of the inorganic nitrogen was reduced. In conclusion, the seeding did not contribute to a shorter start-up time or the achieved anammox enrichment, although it did contribute to a partial, immediate nitrogen reduction. The boundary conditions are the most important factors for a successful start-up in a deammonification MBBR system.

  • 11.
    Kanders, Linda
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center. Purac AB, Sweden.
    Yang, Jing-jing
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Sweden.
    Baresel, Christian
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Sweden.
    Zambrano, Jesus
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Full-scale comparison of N2O emissions from SBR N/DN operation versus one-stage deammonification MBBR treating reject water: - and optimization with pHset-point2019In: Water Science and Technology, ISSN 0273-1223, E-ISSN 1996-9732, Vol. 79, no 8, p. 1616-1625Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To be able to fulfill the Paris agreement regarding anthropogenic greenhouse gases, all potential 12 emissions must be mitigated. Wastewater treatment plants should aim to eliminate emissions of the 13 most potent greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide. In this study, these emissions were measured at a full-scale 14 reject water treatment tank during two different operation modes: nitrification/denitrification (N/DN) 15 operating as a sequencing batch reactor (SBR), and deammonification (nitritation/anammox) as a moving 16 bed biofilm reactor (MBBR). Nitrous oxide was measured both in the water phase and in the off-gas. The 17 treatment process emitted significantly less nitrous oxide in deammonification mode 0.14-0.7 %, 18 compared to 10 % of Total Nitrogen in N/DN mode. The decrease can be linked to the change feeding 19 strategy, concentration in nitrite, load of ammonia oxidized, shorter aeration time, no ethanol dosage 20 and the introduction of biofilm. Further, evaluation was done how the operational pH set point 21 influenced the emissions in deammonification mode. Lower concentrations of nitrous oxide was 22 measured in water phase at higher pH (7.5-7.6) than at lower pH (6.6-7.1). This is believed to be mainly 23 because of the lower aeration ratio and increased complete denitrification at the higher pH set point.

  • 12.
    Krustok, Ivo
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Communities of microalgae and bacteria in photobioreactors treating municipal wastewater2015Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Everyone who uses water produces wastewater. This inevitability creates several problems that increase with the growth of the population and industry. What to do with the wastewater, how to purify it and how to design the infrastructure are all important questions that each municipality has to deal with, taking into account ever growing demands to reduce environmental impact. In these conditions scientists and engineers have turned to biological processes to help treat the water. Currently the most commonly used wastewater treatment method known as the activated sludge process involves bacteria that help break down the pollutants. While it has been used successfully for around 100 years now, it has many limitations when faced with modern demands. As an alternative, microalgae reactors, commonly known as photobioreactors, have been suggested.

    Microalgae are microscopic water organisms that can use photosynthesis to form sugars from CO2 and water. To do this they require energy from light, hence the photo part of the photobioreactor. In addition to taking up CO2 from their environment, they take up nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous compounds. This is a reason why microalgae have great potential for use in wastewater treatment. When grown in wastewater together with the microorganisms already present, they are able to reduce the amount of pollutants by taking them up into their cells, effectively purifying the water.

    Since wastewater has its own microbial community, the biological processes taking place in a wastewater treating photobioreactor are more complex compared to growing a single species of algae in a sterile medium. With the work presented in this licentiate, we characterized the algae and bacterial communities present in photobioreactors treating wastewater in addition to finding the most optimal ways to grow algae originating from a local lake in a wastewater medium. We looked at the species found, most important metabolic pathways, growth dynamics for both algae and bacteria and water purification dynamics.

    Overall, we were successful in inoculating municipal wastewater from Västerås wastewater treatment plant with algae from Lake Mälaren. The dominant algae growing in our systems belonged to the genera Scenedesmus, Desmodesmus and Chlorella. We also saw that the bacterial community was involved in synthesis of vitamins essential for algae growth. The information presented in this thesis is another step towards a better design of control and monitoring systems in full-scale photobioreactor plants.

  • 13.
    Krustok, Ivo
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Microbiological analysis of municipal wastewater treating photobioreactors2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Microalgae reactors, commonly known as photobioreactors, have become increasingly popular as an alternative for wastewater treatment. These systems reduce pollutants and remove nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous compounds from wastewater utilizing microalgae and bacteria. The biomass produced in the reactors can potentially be used to produce biofuels and decrease some of the energy demands of the process.

    Wastewater treating photobioreactors are a relatively new technology and many aspects of their microbiology need further study. This thesis presents a broad overview of the algal and bacterial communities present in these systems by looking at the most important species, metabolic pathways and growth dynamics of both algae and bacteria.

    The experiments presented in this thesis were conducted using municipal wastewater from the Västerås wastewater treatment plant. The wastewater was inoculated with algae from Lake Mälaren and compared to non-inoculated reactors. Overall, the inoculated reactors demonstrated better algal growth than those that were not inoculated. The tested systems also removed much of the ammonium and phosphorous present in the wastewater.

    The dominant algae in the tested systems belonged to the genera Scenedesmus, Desmodesmus and Chlorella. In addition to algae, the systems contained a large number of bacteria, mostly from the phyla Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes.

    The algal photobioreactors contained a lower abundance of genes related to nitrogen metabolism, virulence and antibiotic resistance compared to the initial wastewater, showing that a shift in the bacterial community had occurred. The bacteria found in the systems were shown to be involved in synthesis of vitamins essential for algae growth such as vitamin B12, suggesting cooperation between the bacteria and algae.

  • 14.
    Krustok, Ivo
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Nehrenheim, Emma
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Odlare, Monica
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    M.A., Shabiimam
    Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India..
    Truu, Jaak
    University of Tartu, Estonia.
    Ligi, Teele
    University of Tartu, Estonia.
    Truu, Marika
    University of Tartu, Estonia.
    Characterization of algal and microbial community dynamics in a wastewater photo-bioreactor using indigenous algae from lake mälaren2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Microalgae grown in photo-bioreactors can be a valuable source for biomass especially when combined with the treatment of wastewater. While most published research has been studying pure cultures, consortia of algae and bacteria from the wastewater have more complex dynamics affecting both the biomass production and pollutant removal. In this paper we investigate dynamics of algal and bacterial communities in mixed culture photo-bioreactors using chlorophyll and real-time PCR analysis. Wastewater photo-bioreactors were inoculated with water from a nearby lake to add native algae species. The results indicated a decline in bacterial 16S rDNA copy numbers before algae started to multiply. The photo-bioreactors inoculated with lake algae produced more biomass and grew faster than the algae originating only from wastewater. The reactors were effective in removing ammonia from the wastewater which seemed work to mostly through nitrification thus causing an increase in nitrate concentration. There was also an increase in Cr, Co and Ni ion concentrations during the experiment suggesting they may have moved from organic complexes to the water phase as free ions.

  • 15.
    Krustok, Ivo
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Odlare, Monica
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    M.A., Shabiimam
    Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India..
    Truu, Jaak
    University of Tartu, Estonia.
    Truu, Marika
    University of Tartu, Estonia.
    Ligi, Teele
    University of Tartu, Estonia.
    Nehrenheim, Emma
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Characterization of algal and microbial community growth in a wastewater treating batch photo-bioreactor inoculated with lake water2015In: Algal Research, ISSN 2211-9264, Vol. 11, no Sept, p. 421-427Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Microalgae grown in photo-bioreactors can be a valuable source of biomass, especially when combined with wastewater treatment. While most published research has studied pure cultures, the consortia of algae and bacteria from wastewater have more complex community dynamics which affect both the biomass production and pollutant removal. In this paper we investigate the dynamics of algal and bacterial growth in wastewater treating batch photo-bioreactors. The photo-bioreactors were inoculated with water from a nearby lake. Lake water was obtained in August, November and December in order to add native algal species and study the effects of the season. The photo-bioreactors inoculated with lake water obtained in August and November produced more biomass and grew faster than those that only contained the algae from wastewater. The results indicated a rapid decline in bacterial abundance before algae began to multiply in reactors supplemented with lake water in November and December. The reactors were also successful in removing nitrogen and phosphorous from wastewater.

  • 16.
    Krustok, Ivo
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Odlare, Monica
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Truu, Jaak
    University of Tartu, Estonia.
    Nehrenheim, Emma
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Inhibition of nitrification in municipal wastewater treating photobioreactors: effect on algal growth and nutrient uptake2016In: Bioresource Technology, ISSN 0960-8524, E-ISSN 1873-2976, Vol. 202, p. 238-243Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The effect of inhibiting nitrification on algal growth and nutrient uptake was studied in photobioreactors treating municipal wastewater. As previous studies have indicated that algae prefer certain nitrogen species to others, and because nitrifying bacteria are inhibited by microalgae, it is important to shed more light on these interactions. In this study allylthiourea (ATU) was used to inhibit nitrification in wastewater-treating photobioreactors. The nitrification-inhibited reactors were compared to control reactors with no ATU added.

    Microalgae had higher growth in the inhibited reactors, resulting in a higher chlorophyll a concentration. The species mix also differed, with Chlorella and Scenedesmus being the dominant genera in the control reactors and Cryptomonas and Chlorella dominating in the inhibited reactors. The nitrogen speciation in the reactors after 8 days incubation was also different in the two setups, with N existing mostly as NH4-N in the inhibited reactors and as NO3-N in the control reactors.

  • 17.
    Krustok, Ivo
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Oopkaup, Kristjan
    University of Tartu, Estonia.
    Truu, Jaak
    University of Tartu, Estonia.
    Odlare, Monica
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Nehrenheim, Emma
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Comparative analysis of the metagenomes extracted from wastewater treating photobioreactorsManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The metagenomes of lab-scale municipal wastewater treating batch photobioreactors were studied with a focus on nitrogen metabolism, pathogen abundance and antibiotic resistance genes. Previous studies based on the dataset showed that in general, as algae growth in the reactors increased, nitrogen metabolism and virulence genes decreased. With this study, a more detailed view of these gene groups is presented.

  • 18.
    Mara, Grube
    et al.
    Latvia University, Latvia.
    Olga, Chusova
    Marita, Gavare
    Latvia University, Latvia.
    Karlis, Shvirksts
    Latvia University, Latvia.
    Nehrenheim, Emma
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Odlare, Monica
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Application of FT-IR Spectroscopy for Investigation of Pink Water Remediation by Pine Bark2015In: Open Biotechnology Journal, ISSN 1874-0707, Vol. 9Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study demonstrates the application of FT-IR spectroscopy for investigating the remediation of pink water with the low cost adsorbent pine bark. The removal of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) from pink water by adsorption to pine bark was accompanied by a reduction in intensities of peaks at 1544 and 1347 cm-1 in the spectra of acetonitrile extracts of the pine bark. Hierarchial cluster analysis differentiated samples with high (30-180 mg/L) and low (0-4 mg/L) TNT concentrations, demonstrating the potential of this approach as a quick screening method for the control of the removal of TNT from pink water. The amount of lignin in pine bark was inversely proportional to the size of the pine bark particles, while the concentration of phenolic hydroxyl groups increases with increasing size of pine bark particles. FT-IR spectra showed that as well as TNT, pine bark can also adsorb nitramine explosives such as RDX and HMX.

  • 19.
    Nehrenheim, Emma
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Muter, Olga
    Latvia University.
    Odlare, Monica
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Rodriguez, Adrian
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center. Institute for Catalan Water Research.
    Cepurnieks, Guntis
    National Diagnostic Centre, Latvia.
    Bartkevics, Vadims
    National Diagnostic Centre, Latvia.
    Toxicity assessment and biodegradation potential of water-soluble sludge containing 2,4,6-trinitrotoluen2013In: Water Science & Technology, ISSN 0273-1223, Vol. 68, no 8, p. 1707-1714Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    he water-soluble phase of trinitrotoluene-containing sludge (SLP) was characterized with regard to trinitrotoluene (TNT) concentration, ecotoxicity, and a model biodegradation experiment as evaluation criteria for further development of appropriate treatment technologies. SLP contained 67.8 mg TNT/l. The results of germination and root-elongation tests indicated that SLP had a species-specific phytotoxic effect. The results of a 21 day degradation experiment demonstrated TNT conversion to 4-amino-2,6-DNT and 2-amino-4,6-DNT, with a simultaneous reduction in the total concentration of nitroaromatics. Addition of inoculum stimulated the TNT degradation process. The presence of the sludge solid phase inhibited microbial activity. Measurement of microbial enzyme activity was used to assess changes in the microbial community during the biodegradation process.

  • 20.
    Olsson, Jesper
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Co-digestion of microalgae and sewage sludge - A feasibility study for municipal wastewater treatment plants2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The increased emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases over the last 100 years is the reason for the acceleration in the greenhouse effect, which has led to an increase of the globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature of 0.85 °C between 1880 and 2012. A small fraction of the increased anthropogenic greenhouse gases originates from municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs).

    This doctoral thesis was part of a larger investigation of using an alternative biological treatment based on the symbiosis of microalgae and bacteria (MAAS-process (microalgae and activated sludge)). This solution could be more energy efficient and potentially consume carbon dioxide from fossil combustion processes and also directly capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and thereby reduce the addition of anthropogenic greenhouse gases to the air.

     The objective of the thesis was to explore the effects when the microalgae-derived biomass from the biological treatment were co-digested with sewage sludge. The results from these experimental studies were then used to evaluate the effects on a system level when implementing microalgae in municipal WWTP.

     Microalgae grown from a synthetic medium improved the methane yield with up to 23% in mesophilic conditions when part of the sewage sludge was replaced by the microalgae. The microalgae grown from municipal wastewater showed no synergetic effect.

     In the semi-continuous experiments the methane yield was slightly reduced when implementing the microalgae. Furthermore the digestibility of the co-digestion between sewage sludge and microalgae were lower compared to the digestion of sewage sludge.

     The digestates containing microalgal substrate had higher heavy metals content than digestates containing only sewage sludge. This could have a negative effect on the potential to use this digestate on arable land in future, due to strict limits from the authorities.  Filterability measurements indicated that the addition of microalgae enhanced the dewaterability of the digested sludge and lowered the demand for polyelectrolyte significantly.

     When a hypothetical MAAS-process replaced a conventional ASP-process the amount of feedstock of biomass increased significantly due to the increased production from the autotrophic microalgae. This increased the biogas production by 66-210% and reduced the heavy metal concentration in the digestate due to a dilution effect from the increased biomass production.

     The thesis demonstrates that microalgae in combination with bacteria from a MAAS-process can be a realistic alternative feedstock to WAS in the anaerobic digestion at a municipal WWTP. A few drawbacks need to be considered when choosing a MAAS-process as biological treatment.

  • 21.
    Olsson, Jesper
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Ma, Shabiimam
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Nehrenheim, Emma
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Thorin, Eva
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Co-digestion of cultivated microalgae and sewage sludge from municipal waste water treatmentManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    One way to meet the increased demand for biogas in the society is to use microalgae as substrate. These algae would be cultivated in a treatment step of photobioreactors for reject water from sludge dewatering facilities. In the present study, a co-digestion experiment was established where sludge from a municipal wastewater treatment plant was fermented with harvested microalgae cultivated in lake water from lake Mälaren. The experiment was carried out as a BMP-test (Biochemical Methane Potential) under mesophilic condition (37°C) with fermentation bottles, where 0, 12, 25 and 37%, of the sludge was replaced with harvested microalgae. The results showed that the biogas production was improved with 12% for the bottles with 12% microalgae compared with the bottles with only sludge as a substrate. In the bottles with 25% and 37% microalgaes the gas production was slightly reduced compared with the bottles where only sludge was used.

  • 22.
    Pierong, Rasmus
    et al.
    Uppsala University.
    Nehrenheim, Emma
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Carlsson, Bengt
    Uppsala University.
    Zambrano, Jesús
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Algae Based Wastewater Treatment Model Using The RWQM12016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we propose a model describing the dynamics of an algae based wastewater treatment process in an activated sludge environment. As the basis for the process modelling, the River Water Quality Model no. 1 (RWQM1) is chosen. In order to evaluate the applicability of the model to an activated sludge process, the proposed model is compared to the Activated Sludge Model no. 1 (ASM1).

  • 23.
    Rodriguez Caballero, Adrian
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Odlare, Monica
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Ramond., J-B
    Cape Peninsula University of Technology .
    Welz, P.J
    Cape Peninsula University of Technology .
    Cowan, D.A.,
    Cape Peninsula University of Technology .
    Treatment of high ethanol concentration wastewater by constructed wetlands: enhanced COD removal and bacterial community dynamics.2010In: Microbes in Wastewater & Waste Treatment, Bioremediation and Energy Production, 2010Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 24.
    Schwede, Sebastian
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Anbalagan, Anbarasan
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Krustok, Ivo
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Lindberg, Carl-Fredrik
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center. ABB AB Corporate Research, Västerås, Sweden.
    Nehrenheim, Emma
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Evaluation of the microalgae-based activated sludge (MAAS) process for municipal wastewater treatment on pilot scale2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The microalgae-based activated sludge (MAAS) process was evaluated regarding the removal efficiency of organic matter and nitrogen from physiochemically pretreated municipal wastewater at different hydraulic retention time (HRT) on pilot scale. Additionally, the interplay between the algal and bacterial consortium was evaluated regarding the ability of the algal consortium to provide oxygen for bacterial oxidation processes. The results showed in general high organic matter (COD removal 75-90%) and total nitrogen (40-50%) removal at all HRTs (6, 4 and 2 days). The dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration was maintained stable at 6 days (6.04±0.47 mg L-1) and 4 days (4.24±0.62 mg L-1) HRT. However, the DO significantly declined at 2 days HRT due to loss of biomass at the high influent flow in the sedimentation unit. Nevertheless, the MAAS process functioned as a symbiotic algal-bacterial system with bacterial organic matter oxidation and nitrification and algal nutrient removal.

  • 25.
    Zambrano, Jesús
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Nehrenheim, Emma
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Microalgae Activated Sludge: Process Modelling and Optimization2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This work deals with steady-state optimization of a process formed by an algae-bacteria photo-bioreactor (PBR) in an activated sludge configuration. The optimization is done by considering the total PBR volume as two volumes in series, and aiming for the minimal nitrogen concentration in the effluent, for a given external light and carbon dioxide (CO2) injection. Results suggest that it is possible to obtain an optimum volume distribution that gives a lower effluent substrate concentration compared to a single volume, and this optimum volume depends on the CO2 applied.

1 - 25 of 25
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