Acclimation of consortium of micro-algae help removal of organic pollutants from meat processing wastewater

Xinjuan Hu, Yulie E. Meneses, Jayne Stratton, Bing Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to acclimate and select microalgae species to efficiently remove organic pollutants from meat processing wastewater while accumulating biomass for further processing. Results showed that C. protothecoides, S. obliquus and C. vulgaris and their consortia presented robust growth in synthesized wastewater. Acclimated S. obliquus, C. vulgaris and C. sorokiniana adapted better to the environment in wastewater and achieved significantly (P < 0.05) higher biomass than those without acclimatization. At the end of the nine-day-treatment period, S. obliquus and its consortium with C. vulgaris achieved the highest biomass accumulation (1.7 g/L). However, cultivation periods longer than five days did not significantly (P > 0.05) improve the microalgal removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and nutrients under conditions evaluated in this study. Results showed that 74% total phosphate (TP-PO 4 3- ), 52% total nitrogen (TN) and 87% COD were removed from wastewater after five-day microalgae treatment, which was higher than the removal observed in control samples (48% TP-PO 4 3- , 32%TN, 84% COD). Microalgae treatment did not improve COD removal but was able to accelerate the removal rate. A consortium containing three species (S. obliquus + C. vulgaris + C. sorokiniana) was assessed to improve nutrients and COD removal. The consortium achieved higher removal of COD (91%), TN (67%) and TP-PO 4 3- (69%). Therefore, the acclimated consortium of S. obliquus + C. vulgaris + C. sorokiniana can be effectively used in the treatment of heavily polluted meat processing wastewater as primary or secondary treatment option.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-102
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
StatePublished - Mar 20 2019


  • Meat processing wastewater
  • Microalga consortium
  • Microalga-bacteria
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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