Efficacy of microalgae for industrial wastewater treatment: a review on operating conditions, treatment efficiency and biomass productivity

  • J. Umamaheswari
  • S. Shanthakumar
review paper


Sustainable, clean, renewable energy without negotiating contiguous environment is a challenging task mainly comprises of natural resource management which involves operational efficiency, waste minimisation and energy recovery. Disposal of untreated industrial wastewater with chemical nutrients especially compounds containing nitrogen and phosphorous lead to eutrophication and related environmental issues that affect the recycling processes of bio system. Biotransformation of pollutants using microalgae has proven to be proficient and economic method of wastewater treatment due to their adaptability of growing in various wastewater streams and also useful in the process of CO2 fixation. Moreover this technology has the competence of producing bio fuels as an alternative energy resource in the form of bio diesel, bio ethanol and biogas. In this review paper, the applicability of microalgae cultivation in industrial wastewater treatment has been discussed extensively including the processes involved, influencing operational parameters such as study mode, cultivation mode and time, method of aeration, pH and intensity of light. Further, the cultivation methods, harvesting techniques involved in the treatment process have been presented. In addition, the analysis on removal efficiency of algal treatment, biomass productivity and lipid content of the cultivated biomass has been discussed widely which possibly will be helpful in adopting the process integration in industrial wastewater treatment with bio energy production.


Industrial wastewater Microalgae Biotransformation Photosynthesis Harvesting Biomass 



The authors acknowledge the financial support provided by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India (YSS/2015/000527).


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Engineering Laboratory, School of Civil and Chemical EngineeringVIT UniversityVelloreIndia

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