Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering

, Volume 41, Issue 12, pp 1757–1766 | Cite as

Reclamation of wastewater organics via two-stage growth of bacteria-then-oleaginous phagotrophic algae

  • Cong LiEmail author
  • Lu-Kwang JuEmail author
Research Paper


A substantial amount of organic matter is wasted in current wastewater treatment processes. To reclaim the value of organic matter, a two-stage continuous-flow open process has been developed by utilizing the capability of phagotrophic algae in ingesting bacterial cells. In this process, wastewater is first pumped into a bacteria tank to grow bacterial cells, and then the effluent containing grown bacteria cells is fed to an algae tank to grow phagotrophic algae. The operation conditions such as dilution rate, pH, and dissolved oxygen level were comprehensively investigated and optimized with long-term tests. Results show that phagotrophic algae can be stably cultivated with wastewater organics through this open process without costly chemical/physical sterilization. The produced phagotrophic algae had high lipid content and can be potentially used as biofuel feedstock.


Phagotrophic algae Wastewater treatment Biofuel feedstock Resource recovery 



This research work was supported by the Ohio Water Development Authority (Grant number 5300). We thank Drs. Soroosh Soltani Dashtbozorg, Majid Hosseini and Qin Zhang of this laboratory for conducting preliminary experiments and improving operation procedures of the two-stage continuous process. We also thank Dr. Zhongye Lin for valuable discussion.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringThe University of AkronAkronUSA

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