Application of acid mine drainage for coagulation/flocculation of microalgal biomass

El Sayed Salama, Jung Rae Kim, Min Kyu Ji, Dong Wan Cho, Reda A I Abou-Shanab, Akhil N. Kabra, Byong Hun Jeon

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19 Scopus citations


A novel application of acid mine drainage (AMD) for biomass recovery of two morphologically different microalgae species with respect to AMD dosage, microalgal cell density and pH of medium was investigated. Optimal flocculation of Scenedesmus obliquus and Chlorella vulgaris occurred with 10% dosage of AMD at an initial pH 9 for both 0.5 and 1.0. g/L cell density. The flocculation efficiency was 89% for S. obliquus and 93% for C. vulgaris. Zeta potential (ZP) was increased from -10.66 to 1.77 and -13.19 to 1.33 for S. obliquus and C. vulgaris, respectively. Scanning electron microscope with energy-dispersive X-ray of the microalgae floc confirmed the sweeping floc formation mechanism upon the addition of AMD. Application of AMD for the recovery of microalgae biomass is a cost-effective method, which might further allow reuse of flocculated medium for algal cultivation, thereby contributing to the economic production of biofuel from microalgal biomass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-237
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Mid-career Researchers Program through the National Research Foundation of South Korea ( 2013069183 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Acid mine drainage
  • Coagulation/flocculation
  • Microalgal floc
  • Zeta potential


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