Nutrient removal by algal polyculture in dairy farm effluent

Nutrient pollution from dairy farm effluent, particularly nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), significantly contributes to environmental degradation and eutrophication, necessitating effective bioremediation strategies. This study explores the efficacy of algae polyculture E3 in remediating dairy farm wastewater, focusing on nutrient removal and algal growth. Conducted over a 28-day period, the research compares the bioremediation capabilities of algae polyculture in autoclaved and non-autoclaved effluent samples. Findings reveal that algae polyculture demonstrates superior bioremediation performance in non-autoclaved conditions, with growth rates ranging from 8.07 to 10.13 mg L-1 d-1. The algal polyculture achieved significant nutrient removal, eliminating 90.9% of ammonium (NH₄⁺) and 99.1% of phosphate (PO₄³⁻), highlighting its potential in mitigating nutrient pollution. The study underscores the importance of operational conditions, as non-autoclaved environments fostered more robust algal growth and nutrient uptake. Further, the research involved the optimisation of the model data, leading to improved accuracy in simulating the biological removal processes. The optimised model better reflects real-world bioremediation dynamics, facilitating more reliable predictions of algal performance and nutrient cycling. Additionally, the study identifies a 10-day hydraulic retention time (HRT) as optimal for balancing algal biomass growth with nutrient removal, addressing common challenges such as algal washout and inefficiency in nutrient uptake. In conclusion, the findings advocate for the application of algae polyculture E3 in the bioremediation of dairy farm effluent, proposing a sustainable approach to addressing the critical issue of nutrient pollution. By optimizing conditions for algal growth and nutrient removal, this research contributes to the development of more effective environmental management practices.
Type of thesis
The University of Waikato
All items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.