Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Angélica Rada Ariza

Date: 16 November 2018
Time: 13:30 - 15:00
Location: IHE Institute for Water Education, Westvest 7, 2611 AX, Delft

Dissertation title: 

Photo-activated sludge: A novel algal-bacterial biotreatment for nitrogen removal from wastewater

Group: IHE Delft, Pollution Prevention and Control
Promotor: P.N.L. Lens
Copromotor: P. van der Steen and dr. C. Lopez Vazquez


Nitrogen rich wastewaters (10-400 mg N L-1) are usually produced by municipal, industrial and agricultural wastes, such as effluents from anaerobic treatments. These represent a risk to the environment due to the high nutrient concentrations (nitrogen and phosphorous), which can cause eutrophication of water bodies, deteriorating the quality of the ecosystems. As a solution, the potential nitrogen removal capacity of a novel bio-treatment system, namely the Photo-Activated Sludge (PAS), composed of microalgae and bacteria consortia, was studied. This thesis demonstrated that photo-activated sludge systems using microalgal-bacterial consortia are a sustainable treatment option for ammonium rich wastewaters, providing clean effluents and opening reuse options for the biomass. Furthermore, the PAS systems can reduce the area requirements by halve in comparison with algal systems and likely have a positive energy balance, since the sun is one of the main sources of energy.

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