The work to be carried out is to investigate, by the proper experimental study, the potential of immobilized microalgae for inorganic nitrogen (ammonium, nitrite and nitrate) removal from polluting effluents. For this purpose the use of immobilized dead biomass (for ammonium removal) or living cells (for nitrate and nitrite removal) will initially be considered.
The final objective would be to construct a laboratory scale bioreactor which can subsequently be scaled up for removal of inorganic nitrogen compounds from waste (ammonium) and potential drinking water (nitrate and nitrite). The reactor should be capable of functioning in the laboratory for weeks or more. If successful it could be used at a later stage for large scale water purification. The byproducts could be used as fertilizer. The algal biomass can be screened for biochemicals and pharmaceuticals.
The work will consist of the following steps :
selection of the most appropriate microalgae to fulfil tasks;
selection of the most appropriate immobilization matrices;
characterization of the nitrogen removal ability of the selected immobilized microalgae;
study of the cell morphology, photosynthetic activity and enzyme activity responsible for nitrate assimilation in immobilized biomass;
construction of laboratory scale reactors with immobilized biomass;
performance, monitoring and optimization of the depolluting system at laboratory scale;
and identification of added value products from biomass or byproducts.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
WC2R 2LS London