Date of this Version
Published in Science of the Total Environment 790 (2021) 148222
Greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions are widely related to climate change, triggering several environmental problems of global concern and producing environmental, social, and economic negative impacts. Therefore, global research seeks to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, the use of wastes under a circular economy scheme generates subproducts from the range of high to medium-value, representing away to help sustainable development. Therefore, the use of wastewater as a culture medium to grow microalgae strains that biocapture environmental CO2, is a proposal with high potential to reduce the GHG presence in the environment. In this work, Scenedesmus sp. was cultivated using BG-11 medium and industrial wastewater (IWW) as a culture medium with three different CO2 concentrations, 0.03%, 10%, and 20% to determine their CO2 biocapture potential. Furthermore, the concomitant removal of COD, nitrates, and total phosphorus in wastewater was evaluated. Scenedesmus sp. achieves a biomass concentration of 1.9 g L−1 when is grown in BG-11 medium, 0.69 g L−1 when is grown in a combination of BG-11 medium and 25% of industrial wastewater; both cases with 20% CO2 supplied. The maximum CO2 removal efficiency (8.4%, 446±150 mg CO2 L−1 day−1) was obtained with 10% CO2 supplied and using a combination of BG-11 medium and 50% IWW (T2). Also, the highest removal of COD was reached with a combination of BG-11 medium and T2 with a supply of 20% CO2 (82% of COD removal). Besides, the highest nitrates removal was achieved with a combination of BG-11 medium and 75% IWW (T3) with a supply of 10% CO2 (42% of nitrates removal) and the maximum TP removal was performed with the combination of BG-11 medium and 25% IWW (T1) with a supply of 10% CO2 (67% of TP removal). These results indicate that industrial wastewater can be used as a culture media for microalgae growth and CO2 biocapture can be performed as concomitant processes.
• Influence of CO2 on the growth rate of microalgae is investigated.
• Influence of CO2 on the growth rate of microalgae cultured in industrial wastewater is investigated.
• The carbon fixation ability of Scenedesmus sp. was evaluated in BG-11 and wastewater media.
• Microalgae production in wastewater could be an excellent alternative to forced CO2 capture.