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Chemosphere. 2007 Jan;66(5):878-86. Epub 2006 Jul 24.

A batch study on the bio-fixation of carbon dioxide in the absorbed solution from a chemical wet scrubber by hot spring and marine algae.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, 1 University Road, Tainan 701, Taiwan.


Carbon dioxide mass transfer is a key factor in cultivating micro-algae except for the light limitation of photosynthesis. It is a novel idea to enhance mass transfer with the cyclic procedure of absorbing CO(2) with a high performance alkaline abosorber such as a packed tower and regenerating the alkaline solution with algal photosynthesis. Hence, the algae with high affinity for alkaline condition must be purified. In this study, a hot spring alga (HSA) was purified from an alkaline hot spring (pH 9.3, 62 degrees C) in Taiwan and grows well over pH 11.5 and 50 degrees C. For performance of HSA, CO(2) removal efficiencies in the packed tower increase about 5-fold in a suitable growth condition compared to that without adding any potassium hydroxide. But ammonia solution was not a good choice for this system with regard to carbon dioxide removal efficiency because of its toxicity on HSA. In addition, HSA also exhibits a high growth rate under the controlled pHs from 7 to 11. Besides, a well mass balance of carbon and nitrogen made sure that less other byproducts formed in the procedure of carboxylation. For analysis of some metals in HSA, such as Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn, related to the photosynthesis increased by a rising cultivated pH and revealed that those metals might be accumulated under alkaline conditions but the growth rate was still limited by the ratio of bicarbonate (useful carbon source) and carbonate. Meanwhile, Nannochlopsis oculta (NAO) was also tested under different additional carbon sources. The results revealed that solutions of sodium/potassium carbonate are better carbon sources than ammonia carbonate/bicarbonate for the growth of NAO. However, pH 9.6 of growth limitation based on sodium was lower than one of HSA. The integrated system is, therefore, more feasible to treat CO(2) in the flue gases using the algae with higher alkaline affinity such as HSA in small volume bioreactors.

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