Characteristics of wastewater treatment by Chlorella sorokiniana and comparison with activated sludge

Jie Fan, Liang Cao, Cheng Gao, Yue Chen, Tian C. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Characteristics of Chlorella sorokiniana treating wastewater with consideration of HRT (6 d, 16 h, 8 h), hydraulic conditions, light or dark culture were evaluated and compared with activated sludge. Results showed that optimal HRT was 8 h; if longer, effluent chemical oxygen demand (COD) and NHj-N in the dark began to rebound. Mixing was beneficial to COD removal of algae, while aeration was suitable for nutrient removal. Growth of C. sorokiniana in the light was mixotrophic growth and 1.3-1.7 times more than that of dark heterotrophic growth. The maximum specific growth rate (µmax), productivity, and biomass yields on COD (YCOD), N (YNH4), P (YP) of algae were higher in the light than that in the dark. COD assimilation capacity of algae was similar to activated sludge but with different dynamics. N and P assimilation capacity of algae was 1.4,1.2-2.5 times more than activated sludge; N and P removal efficiency of algae was 5%-10%, 10%-55% respectively higher than activated sludge. This study confirmed the advantage of algae over activated sludge and reveal why algae could assist the activated sludge process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)892-901
Number of pages10
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Activated sludge
  • Chlorella sorokiniana
  • HRT
  • Light and dark
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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