Anaerobic digestion wastewater decolorization by H2O2-enhanced electro-Fenton coagulation following nutrients recovery via acid tolerant and protein-rich Chlorella production

Shuhao Huo, David Necas, Feifei Zhu, Dongjie Chen, Jun An, Nan Zhou, Wei Liu, Lu Wang, Yanling Cheng, Yuhuan Liu, Roger Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Farmland wastewater such as swine waste effluent contains rich nutrients needed for the production of microalgae. However, the dark color and high turbidity in the effluent hinder light penetration and thus the photosynthesis of the microalgae. In this study, the H2O2-enhanced electro-Fenton coagulation (EFC) was employed to remove chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solid (TSS), color, and phosphorus effectively in anaerobic digested (AD) swine wastewater. During the enhanced EFC process, lower pH (pH 3), lower temperature (10 °C), higher H2O2 concentration (>200 mg·L−1) and higher wastewater dilution factors (>2) all had positive effects on pollutant removal. After EFC pretreatment, the penetration of light into the medium was improved and the photosynthesis of Chlorella sp. was effectively increased. The initial N:P ratio in Chlorella cultures was adjusted to various levels (8:1 ~ 32:1) by KH2PO4 addition. When the N:P ratio was 8:1, the maximum biomass accumulation (2.07 g·L−1), maximum protein content (54.1%) and protein productivity (62.2 mg·L−1·d−1) were obtained. In the process of Chlorella growth, due to the rapid consumption of ammonia, the pH of wastewater reached as low as 4, but the Chlorella still survived, showing that this strain of Chlorella was strongly acid-tolerant. This study showed the H2O2-enhanced EFC as an effective means of pretreatment of anaerobic effluent for aqueous culture of protein-rich Chlorella, which demonstrated to be an effective combination for nutrients recycling, and favorable to high value-added biomass production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127160
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - Feb 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 21978120 ), and the Jiangsu Government Scholarship for Overseas Studies. The authors thank Dr. Krik Cobb for revising the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Anaerobic effluent
  • Chlorella sp.
  • HO-enhanced electro-Fenton reaction
  • N:P ratio
  • Nutrients recycling
  • Protein


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