Phycoremediation of municipal wastewater by the cold-adapted microalga monoraphidium sp. Dek19

Adam Hage, Nolan Luckett, Gabriel P. Holbrook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Present municipal wastewater treatment technologies often require substantial energy inputs, and fail to completely remove nitrate and phosphate before discharging effluent. In contrast, using the cold-adapted oleaginous microalga Monoraphidium sp. Dek 19 decreased levels of both these polluting ions to 0 mg/dL. Concurrent biomass production was greater at 10 8C than at 22 8C, showing that phycoremediation occurred at low temperatures previously thought to be unsuitable for algal-based treatment. Algal growth with uptake of nitrate and phosphate required only short bursts of aeration to suspend cells and maintain CO2 supply for photosynthesis. To save energy, culture aeration for 1 hour, 4 times per day, including during the dark cycle, yielded cell productivity and phycoremediation nearly equivalent to using 24-hour aeration. The authors conclude that Monoraphidium sp. Dek19 algae represent an economical effluent treatment at cool temperatures found in the high proportion of water resource recovery facilities in geographical areas experiencing cold winters. Water Environ. Res., 90, 1938 (2018).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1938-1946
Number of pages9
JournalWater Environment Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Aeration
  • Biofuel
  • Climate
  • Microalgae
  • Monoraphidium
  • Nitrate
  • Phosphate
  • Phycoremediation
  • Temperature
  • Wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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