Selection and cultivation of microalgae in palm oil industry effluent
for nutrient removal and algal biomass production
Worldwide palm oil production exceeds 55 million tons annually,
generating over 200 million tons of palm oil mill effluent (POME). This
wastewater may potentially be used as a substrate for microalgae biomass
production. In this work, the microalgae strain Pseudokirchneriella sp.
LBA#52 was selected among 18 strain tested for growth in POME. Biomass
productivity achieved 272.13 mgDW • L-1 • d-1 during cultivation using
15 L airlift flat plate photobioreactors. Carbohydrates comprised the
major fraction of algal biomass, reaching up to 39,73%, while the
lipidic fraction varied from 8,39% to 11,03% when POME is used as
culture medium. Additionally, algal growth promoted reductions of
61.21% of total nitrogen (TN), 99.99% of Ammonium and 99.07% of
phosphate present in POME. This study highlights the potential of using
microalgae for wastewater treatment and production of high value-added
biomass integrated to the palm oil industry.