Trophic mode conversion and nitrogen deprivation of microalgae for high ammonium removal from synthetic wastewater

Jinghan Wang, Wenguang Zhou, Haizhen Yang, Feng Wang, Roger Ruan

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15 Scopus citations


In this study, a well-controlled three-stage process was proposed for high ammonium removal from synthetic wastewater using selected promising microalgal strain UMN266. Three trophic modes (photoautotrophy, heterotrophy, and mixotrophy), two N sufficiency conditions (N sufficient and N deprived), two inoculum modes (photoautotrophic and heterotrophic), and different NH4+-N concentrations were compared to investigate the effect of trophic mode conversion and N deprivation on high NH4+-N removal by UMN266. Results showed that photoautotrophic inoculum with trophic mode conversion from heterotrophy to photoautotrophy and N deprivation in Stage 2 turned was the optimum plan for NH4+-N removal, and average removal rates were 12.4 and 19.1mg/L/d with initial NH4+-N of 80 and 160mg/L in Stage 3. Mechanism investigations based on algal biomass carbon (C) and N content, cellular composition, and starch content confirmed the above optimum plan and potential of UMN266 as bioethanol feedstock.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-676
Number of pages9
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was in part supported by Grants from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) , University of Minnesota MNDrive Program , University of Minnesota Center for Biorefining , and China MOST Projects ( 2012AA021704 ), NSF of China (Grant 21177067 ), and China International Cooperation Projects ( 2010DFB63750 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Ammonium removal
  • Microalgae
  • Nitrogen deprivation
  • Nitrogen starvation
  • Trophic mode conversion

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