Biohydrogen production coupled with wastewater treatment using selected microalgae.Chemosphere. 2023 Sep; 334:138932.C
Microalgae such as Chlorella pyrenoidosa, Scenedesmus obliquus and Chlorella sorokiniana were cultivated in domestic wastewater for biohydrogen production. The comparison between the microalgae was executed based on biomass productions, biochemical yields and nutrient removal efficiencies. S. obliquus showed the possibility of growing in domestic wastewater reaching maximum biomass production, lipid, protein, carbohydrate yield and nutrient removal efficiency. All the three microalgae reached high biomass production of 0.90, 0.76 and, 0.71 g/L, respectively for S. obliquus, C. sorokiniana and C. pyrenoidosa. A higher protein content (35.76%) was obtained in S. obliquus. A similar pattern of lipid yield (25.34-26.23%) and carbohydrate yield (30.32-33.21%) was recorded in all selected microalgae. Chlorophyll-a content was higher in synthetic media-grown algae compared algae grown in wastewater. The maximum nutrient removal efficiencies achieved were 85.54% of nitrate by C. sorokiniana, 95.43% of nitrite by C. pyrenoidosa, ∼100% of ammonia and 89.34% of phosphorus by C. sorokiniana. An acid pre-treatment was applied to disintegrate the biomass of microalgae, followed by dark fermentation in batch mode to produce hydrogen. During fermentation process, polysaccharides, protein and lipids were consumed. Maximum hydrogen production of 45.50 ± 0.32 mLH2/gVS, 38.43 ± 0.42 mLH2/gVS and 34.83 ± 1.82 mL/H2/gVS was achieved by C. pyrenoidosa, S. obliquus and C. sorokiniana respectively. Overall, the results revealed the potential of microalgal cultivation in wastewater coupled with maximum biomass production lead to biohydrogen generation for environmental sustainability.