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ASSESSMENT OF THE MICROALGAE BIOFUEL PRODUCTION USING WASTEWATER: THE USE OF MICROALGAE AS A SOURCE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY
LISANA FURTADO CAVALCANTI, CYNTHIA WALTER, AMANDA LORENA LIMA OLIVEIRA, ANA KAROLINE DUARTE DOS SANTOS Sá , FERNANDO ANTôNIO DO NASCIMENTO FEITOSA
2 CULTIVO DE ALGAS E SERVIçOS ECOSSISTêMICOS
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Chlorella vugaris; Biofuel; Renewable energy; Pennsylvania; USA.
Algae can be converted directly into energy, such as biodiesel, bioethanol and biomethanol and therefore can be a source of renewable energy. Microalgae appear to be the only source of renewable biodiesel that is capable of meeting the global demand for transport fuels. This potential of microalgae as a source of renewable energy has received considerable interest due to their high growth rate and oil content. This study used Chlorella vulgaris as a source of biofuel which grew with wastewater collected from 14-Mile Municipal Treatment Facility in Pennsylvania, situated in the northeastern region of the United States of America (USA). The goal of this study was to investigate the algae production and the use of wastewaters as a sustainable means of algal growth for biofuels. For the experimental design, two different conditions were created: a) wastewater alone and b) algae (Chlorella vulgaris) and wastewater. It was used four Erlenmeyer flasks containing 450 mL of wastewater partially treated, where the control group contained wastewater alone, while the experimental group was three flasks containing Chlorella vulgaris and wastewater in each flask. To achieve the goal of this study, the algae growth and measurements of nutrients were monitored over 5 weeks. The measurements of nutrients (phosphate, ammonia, and nitrate) were made through Hach chemical colorimetry. In addition, energy measurements were taken by using the Parr 6200 Bomb Calorimeter and six different models containers with algae were also tested. From the optical density, C. vulgaris strains demonstrated great growth showing a maximum of 7.8. The results also reported a substantial removal of nutrients such as phosphate and ammonia by microalgae over five weeks. At the end of most 2-3 week growth periods, N and P decreased by 75% compared to wastewater without algae. Finally, C. vulgaris showed maximum values of Energy Equivalent (3646.8824 J/g dry weight) and BTU (5769.991) from pellet present at the model 1 which was dried under natural temperature at 24 °C. This study showed the potential of microalga Chlorella vulgaris as a biofuel and its use as a tool to reduce nutrient pollution from sewage plants into streams.