Evides Industriewater upscales algae research to photobioreactor
As small-scale tests have provided sufficient information, the algae cultivation has recently been upscaled to a photobioreactor (20 l) to optimise treatment conditions.
In the NEREUS project Evides Industriewater explores how the resource nitrogen can be extracted from wastewater.
One of the tests examines adding a specific type of algae, since they feed on nitrogen and carbon dioxide.
The NEREUS team has been working on cultivating the algae Galdieria Sulphuraria on concentrate of reversed osmosis (RO). Through this process, the nitrogen residue in the wastewater is converted into a valuable substance: the algae produce the blue pigment phycocyanine, which is known to have health benefits.
From lab scale to photobioreactor
Small-scale tests in a two-cup sized reactor have provided sufficient information. Now the algae cultivation has been upscaled to a photobioreactor (20 l) to optimise treatment conditions. The new reactor provides the best conditions for the algae to grow, such as CO2 and light. Once the algae have gotten used to the new environment, the researchers can start treating the RO-concentrate to convert as much nitrogen as possible into phycocyanine.