Application of recycled media and algae-based anaerobic digestate in Scenedesmus cultivation

Xinyi E, Czarena Crofcheck, Mark Crocker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


To make large-algae cultivation systems sustainable, commercial fertilizer inputs should be minimized. One means of achieving this is to maximize the recycle of nutrients used in algae cultivation. In addition to recycling nutrient-containing water from algae harvesting and dewatering, after harvesting algal biomass can be used as a substrate for anaerobic digestion, which can then generate mineralized nutrients to be used for further cultivation. In this study, the effect of recycling media and using mineralized nutrients during Scenedesmus cultivation was investigated. The recycled media proved to be able to support cell growth with nutrient replenishment, and it could be recycled for cultivation up to four times. Algae biomass was subjected to anaerobic digestion, and the liquid digestate and the total digestate were tested as nutrient sources. The digestate was rich in ammonium ions and proved to be a sufficient replacement for urea. When both urea and ammonium ions were available in the media, the assimilation of urea by algal cells slowed down compared to the case where urea was the only nitrogen source.

Original languageEnglish
Article number013116
JournalJournal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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