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Bioresour Technol. 2014 Mar;155:373-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2013.12.122. Epub 2014 Jan 7.

Using natural zeolite for ammonia sorption from wastewater and as nitrogen releaser for the cultivation of Arthrospira platensis.

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Department of Natural Resources Management and Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, 11855 Athens, Greece. Electronic address:
Laboratory Aquatic Biology, KU Leuven Kulak, E. Sabbelaan 53, 8500 Kortrijk, Belgium.


Herein a new approach for the application of wastewater nutrients for the cultivation of cyanobacteria or microalgae is described. Natural zeolite was used as medium for the sorption of ammonia from wastewater and subsequently as nitrogen releaser in cultures of Arthrospira platensis. The main scope of the present approach was to isolate ammonia from the wastewater and to transfer it into the culture medium excluding thus the suspended solids, the dissolved colored compounds or any other possible contaminant of the wastewater. The results demonstrate that the indirect use of ammonia derived from wastewater using zeolite as sorption and releasing medium for the cultivation of A. platensis is promising. This is the first time that a medium was used for indirect application of wastewater nutrient for the production of cyanobacterial or microalgal biomass.


Ammonia inhibition; Cyanobacteria; Microalgae; Wastewater; Zeolite

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