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Bioresour Technol. 2017 Feb;225:58-66. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2016.11.029. Epub 2016 Nov 9.

Feasibility of using a microalgal-bacterial consortium for treatment of toxic coke wastewater with concomitant production of microbial lipids.

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Freshwater Bioresources Utilization Bureau, Nakdonggang National Institute of Biological Resources, 137, Donam 2-gil, Sangju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do 37242, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:
Future Environmental Research Center, Korea Institute of Toxicology, Jinju 52834, Republic of Korea; Human and Environmental Toxicology Program, Korea University of Science and Technology, Daejoen 34113, Republic of Korea.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, KAIST, 291 Daehakno, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea.
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, KAIST, 291 Daehakno, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea; Advanced Biomass R&D Center, KAIST, 291 Daehakno, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea.


This study examined the feasibility of using an algal-bacterial process for removal of phenol and NH4+-N from differently diluted coke wastewater with simultaneous production of biomass. Under illumination, microalgal-bacterial (MSB) cultures performed complete phenol degradation at all dilutions of coke wastewater while sole microalgal culture (MSA) degraded a maximum of 27.3% of phenol (initial concentration: 24.0mgL-1) from 5-fold diluted wastewater. Furthermore, the MSB culture had the highest rate of NH4+-N removal (8.3mgL-1d-1) and fatty acid production (20mgL-1d-1) which were 2.3- and 1.5-fold higher than those observed in the MSA cultures, probably due to decreases in toxic organic pollutants. Multivariate analyses indicated that co-cultivation of activated sludge was directly correlated with the elevated removals of phenol and NH4+-N. In the presence of sludge, adequate dilution of the coke wastewater can maximize the effect of bacteria on NH4+-N removal and biomass production.


Activated sludge; Coke wastewater; Microalga; Nitrogen removal; Statistical analysis

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