Send to

Choose Destination
J Vis Exp. 2017 Mar 6;(121). doi: 10.3791/55256.

Comparison of Scale in a Photosynthetic Reactor System for Algal Remediation of Wastewater.

Author information

Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, Drexel University.
Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, Drexel University;


An experimental methodology is presented to compare the performance of two different sized reactors designed for wastewater treatment. In this study, ammonia removal, nitrogen removal and algal growth are compared over an 8-week period in paired sets of small (100 L) and large (1,000 L) reactors designed for algal remediation of landfill wastewater. Contents of the small and large scale reactors were mixed before the beginning of each weekly testing interval to maintain equivalent initial conditions across the two scales. System characteristics, including surface area to volume ratio, retention time, biomass density, and wastewater feed concentrations, can be adjusted to better equalize conditions occurring at both scales. During the short 8-week representative time period, starting ammonia and total nitrogen concentrations ranged from 3.1-14 mg NH3-N/L, and 8.1-20.1 mg N/L, respectively. The performance of the treatment system was evaluated based on its ability to remove ammonia and total nitrogen and to produce algal biomass. Mean ± standard deviation of ammonia removal, total nitrogen removal and biomass growth rates were 0.95±0.3 mg NH3-N/L/day, 0.89±0.3 mg N/L/day, and 0.02±0.03 g biomass/L/day, respectively. All vessels showed a positive relationship between the initial ammonia concentration and ammonia removal rate (R2=0.76). Comparison of process efficiencies and production values measured in reactors of different scale may be useful in determining if lab-scale experimental data is appropriate for prediction of commercial-scale production values.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for MyJove Corporation
Loading ...
Support Center