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Findings from D.L. Sutherland and Co-Researchers Provides New Data on Chlorophyll (Seasonal variation in light utilisation, biomass production and...

July 2, 2014



Findings from D.L. Sutherland and Co-Researchers Provides New Data on Chlorophyll (Seasonal variation in light utilisation, biomass production and nutrient removal by wastewater microalgae in a full-scale high-rate algal pond)

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Biotech Week -- Current study results on Biological Factors have been published. According to news reporting originating in Hamilton, New Zealand, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "There has been renewed interest in the combined use of high-rate algal ponds (HRAP) for wastewater treatment and biofuel production. Successful wastewater treatment requires year-round efficient nutrient removal while high microalgal biomass yields are required to make biofuel production cost-effective."

The news reporters obtained a quote from the research, "This paper investigates the year-round performance of microalgae in a 5-ha demonstration HRAP system treating primary settled wastewater in Christchurch, New Zealand. Microalgal performance was measured in terms of biomass production, nutrient removal efficiency, light absorption and photosynthetic potential on seasonal timescales. Retention time-corrected microalgal biomass (chlorophyll a) varied seasonally, being lowest in autumn and winter (287 and 364 mg m(-3)day(-1), respectively) and highest in summer (703 mg m(-3)day(-1)), while the conversion efficiency of light to biomass was greatest in winter (0.39 mg Chl- a per mu mol) and lowest in early summer (0.08 mg Chl- a per mu mol). The percentage of ammonium (NH4-N) removed was highest in spring (79 %) and summer (77 %) and lowest in autumn (47 %) and winter (53 %), while the efficiency of NH4-N removal per unit biomass was highest in autumn and summer and lowest in winter and spring. Chlorophyll-specific light absorption per unit biomass decreased as total chlorophyll increased, partially due to the package effect, particularly in summer. The proportional increase in the maximum electron transport rate from winter to summer was significantly lower than the proportional increase in the mean light intensity of the water column."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "We concluded that microalgal growth and nutrient assimilation was constrained in spring and summer and carbon limitation may be the likely cause."

For more information on this research see: Seasonal variation in light utilisation, biomass production and nutrient removal by wastewater microalgae in a full-scale high-rate algal pond. Journal of Applied Phycology, 2014;26(3):1317-1329. Journal of Applied Phycology can be contacted at: Springer, Van Godewijckstraat 30, 3311 Gz Dordrecht, Netherlands. (Springer - www.springer.com; Journal of Applied Phycology - www.springerlink.com/content/0921-8971/)

Our news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained by contacting D.L. Sutherland, Res Ltd NIWA, Natl Inst Water & Atmospher, Hamilton 3200, New Zealand. Additional authors for this research include C. Howard-Williams, M.H. Turnbull, P.A. Broady and R.J. Craggs (see also Biological Factors).

Keywords for this news article include: Biotechnology, Energy, Biofuel, Hamilton, Oil and Gas, Bioengineering, Chlorophyllides, Metalloporphyrins, Biological Factors, Australia and New Zealand

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


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Source: Biotech Week


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