Cheap biomass from wastewater, or how to increase the profitability of the HRAP treatment plant

Cheap biomass from wastewater, or how to increase the profitability of the HRAP treatment plant

It seems that by using nature in the current technological infrastructure, we can not only improve its effectiveness, but also gain something more. This time, scientists focused on HRAP (High-Rate Algal Pond) treatment plants, proving that cheap biomass for biofuels from wastewater is at hand.

It turned out that microalgae in HRAP wastewater treatment plants can be easily obtained and then cheap biomass is at your fingertips

These projects, which use algae and bacteria to purify wastewater, are already in use, so researchers at Flinders University based their work on current wastewater treatment plants in South Australia. These have already proven that the use of HRAP reduces the time of wastewater treatment from 66 to 5-10 days, and in addition, it handles the treatment better, because its ability to remove pathogens is equal to or better than existing sewage systems.

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However, it is not the effectiveness of HRAP treatment plants that the research focuses on, but how to use them for the production of, among others biofuels with a later date. Professor Howard Fallowfield and Dr. Paul Young developed a new method to compact the microalgae-rich biomass generated by HRAP plants. They used a concentrate of hexahydrate magnesium chloride (MgCl2.6H2O), while trying to optimize the processing process on the basis of modeling chemical reactions.

This autoflocculation process was successful in collecting sewage sludge while significantly reducing turbidity, nutrients and E. coli contamination in the sewage.

Explains the lead author of the study, Dr. Young.

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Perhaps most importantly, the cost of the chemicals used is not high and, according to one researcher, this experiment showed that it is possible to enrich HRAP plants simply by growing microalgae in them for the production of biofuels without the need to invest in expensive infrastructure.

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