Integration of bioelectricity generation from algal biophotovoltaic (BPV) devices with remediation of palm oil mill effluent (POME) as substrate for algal growth

Ng, Fong-Lee and Phang, Siew-Moi and Thong, Cheng-Han and Periasamy, Vengadesh and Pindah, Jeccy and Yunus, Kamran and Fisher, Adrian C. (2021) Integration of bioelectricity generation from algal biophotovoltaic (BPV) devices with remediation of palm oil mill effluent (POME) as substrate for algal growth. Environmental Technology & Innovation, 21. ISSN 2352-1864, DOI

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The exploitation of renewable energy sources for delivering carbon neutral or carbon negative solutions has to be achieved through strategies involving the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. Agro-industries like palm oil processing are important sources of energy but are also generators of large volumes of wastewater, causing pollution problems. Bioremediation of these effluents utilizing microalgae has shown promising results. In the present study, we developed an algal-biophotovoltaic device to generate direct bioelectricity from photosynthesis while using palm oil mill effluent (POME) as substrate for microalgal growth. Nine microalgal strains from the University of Malaya Algae Culture Collection (UMACC) were cultured using POME in four different concentrations (50%, 25%, 10%, and 5%) for 12 days. Chlorella vulgaris Beijerinck UMACC 051 showed the highest specific growth rate (1.32 d(-1)) and Chlorella UMACC 301 showed high photosynthetic performance (Alpha = 0.88) when grown in 5% POMEBBM medium. Three selected microalgal strains were grown in the control medium (Bold's Basal Medium) and 5% POME-BBM medium in an annular biophotovoltaic device. The maximum power density (0.45 mW m(-2)) obtained from Chlorella UMACC 313 in the POME-BBM medium, was 15% higher than the power density generated when the microalgal cells were grown in the control medium (0.38 mW m(-2)). When Chlorella UMACC 313 was cultured in a 4L round integrated fuel cell-photobioreactor prototype device, the maximum power density obtained was 0.28 mW m(-2). The reductions in NO3-N, o-PO43-, NH3-N and COD were 54.92%, 29.41%, 80.75 and 60.09% respectively. A final biomass of 810 mg L-1 was obtained after 12 days' growth and the CO2 fixation rate was 76.82 mgCO(2) L-1 d(-1). This BPV system represents a multi-functional system that generates low power density while providing wastewater bioremediation and carbon removal. This has potential as a sustainable environment-friendly carbon-neutral or carbon-reducing energy generation system. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Funders: University of Malaya InnovateUM@UM-HICoE Grant [PPSI-2020-HICOE-03], Higher Institution Centre of Excellence (HICoE) Phase II Fund, Ministry of Education Malays [IOES-2014F], Newton Prize 2017 [IF008-2018], UM Peruntukan Universiti Penyelidikan (PUP) 2019 (PUP2019), UM Algae Grant [GA003-2012]
Uncontrolled Keywords: Algal-biophotovoltaic device; Bioelectricity; POME; Biotechnology; Bioremediation
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
Divisions: Institute of Advanced Studies
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2022 06:29
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2022 06:29

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