Treatment of the Wastewater from Wet Coffee Processing Using Microalgae Cultivation

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Rungnapha Khiewwijit


The objective of this study was to explore the potential of the removals of nitrogen, phosphorus and organic matter in the forms of dissolved TKN-nitrogen (TKN-N), phosphate-phosphorus (PO43--P), and COD, respectively. This study focused on a treatment of wet coffee processing wastewater using suspended and biofilm microalgae cultivation. Moreover, this study also investigated the microalgal biomass production in biofilm microalgae system at the differences in harvesting frequency. Mixed-microalgae culture was cultivated in the laboratory scale and constructed under outdoor climatic conditions in Northern Thailand. Three different systems were used, which were suspended system, biofilm system (harvesting at day 7 and 14) and biofilm system (harvesting at day 14). These three systems were cultivated for 3 cycles with the period of 14 days for each cycle. The results showed that biofilm system (harvesting at day 7 and 14) gave the highest removals of dissolved TKN-N, PO43--P, and COD, which removed on average 48%, 44%, and 90%, respectively. Another two systems had lower average removal efficiencies of dissolved TKN-N, PO43--P, and COD. These results could be explained by the minimization of light limitation to photosynthesis and enhancement of CO2 mass transfer when using biofilm system. However, this study showed that microalgal biomass harvesting in biofilm system at day 7 caused less mixed-microalgae seed. Consequently, biofilm system (harvesting at day 7 and 14) had lower average biomass production rate (1.02 g dry weight/day) than biofilm system (harvesting at day 14) (1.19 g dry weight/day). This study provided a development of efficient treatment for the wet coffee processing wastewater using microalgae cultivation in biofilm system. Moreover, only half biomass harvesting of the patterned sheet in day 7 and all biomass harvesting in day 14 should be applied to increase microalgal biomass production.

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R. Khiewwijit, “Treatment of the Wastewater from Wet Coffee Processing Using Microalgae Cultivation”, sej, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 44–57, Nov. 2018.
Research Articles


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