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Microalgae used to clean up oil refinery wastewater in successful test facility

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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IMAGE: Industrial Biotechnology, led by Co-Editors-in-Chief Larry Walker, PhD, and Glenn Nedwin, PhD, MoT, CEO and President, TripleDNA Consulting, LLC, Davis, CA, is an authoritative journal focused on biobased... view more

Credit: ©Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, September 25, 2015--At a Chevron oil refinery in Hawaii, researchers are growing microalgae in a 5,000-liter photobioreactor, flowing wastewater from the refinery through the reactor, and taking advantage of the algae's appetite for chemical nutrients to polish the water, removing noxious chemicals, including 90% of the ammonia-nitrogen and 97% of the phosphorus. As the microbes feed, they grow and multiply, providing a wealth of algae-based biomass for producing bioenergy and high-value biobased chemicals and specialty products, as described the article "Algae-Mediated Valorization of Industrial Waste Streams" in Industrial Biotechnology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Industrial Biotechnology website until October 25, 2015.

Michael Perez, Norie Anne Nolasco, Amit Vasavada, Martin Johnson, and Adelheid Kuehnle, Kuehnle AgroSystems, Honolulu, HI, provide a detailed description of the design and operation of the pilot wastewater treatment facility. The bioreactor contains a mixed microbial consortium that is enriched for Scenedesmus algal species. The authors also describe experiments evaluating the ability of Chlorella and Scenedesmus algal species to grow on the sugars derived from waste wood obtained from pulp and paper mills and pretreated using enzymatic hydrolysis to release the pentose and hexose sugars. They tested and compared the algae biomass production from three types of waste wood: pine softwood, southern hardwoods, and northern hardwoods.

"This is an exciting story on how the engineering of microbial consortia can lead to the development of robust waste management processes," says Co-Editor-in-Chief Larry Walker, PhD.

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About the Journal

Industrial Biotechnology, led by Co-Editors-in-Chief Larry Walker, PhD, and Glenn Nedwin, PhD, MoT, CEO and President, TripleDNA Consulting, LLC, Davis, CA, is an authoritative journal focused on biobased industrial and environmental products and processes, published bimonthly in print and online. The Journal reports on the science, technology, business, and policy developments of the emerging global bioeconomy, including biobased production of energy and fuels, chemicals, materials, and consumer goods. The articles published include critically reviewed original research in all related sciences (biology, biochemistry, chemical and process engineering, agriculture), in addition to expert commentary on current policy, funding, markets, business, legal issues, and science trends. Industrial Biotechnology offers the premier forum bridging basic research and R&D with later-stage commercialization for sustainable biobased industrial and environmental applications.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Environmental Engineering Science and Sustainability: The Journal of Record. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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