Cultivation of chlorella vulgaris in a Light-Receiving-Plate (LRP)-enhanced raceway pond for ammonium and phosphorus removal from pretreated pig urine

Guyue Zou, Yuhuan Liu, Qi Zhang, Ting Zhou, Shuyu Xiang, Zhiqiang Gu, Qiaoyun Huang, Hongbin Yan, Hongli Zheng, Xiaodan Wu, Yunpu Wang, Roger Ruan, Mingzhi Liu

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10 Scopus citations


Fresh pig urine is unsuitable for microalgae cultivation due to its high concentrations of NH4 +-N, high pH and insufficient magnesium. In this study, fresh pig urine was pretreated by dilution, pH adjustment, and magnesium addition in order to polish wastewater and produce microalgae biomass. Chlorella vulgaris was cultured in an in-house-designed light-receiving-plate (LRP)-enhanced raceway pond to treat the pretreated pig urine in both batch and continuous mode under outdoor conditions. NH4 +-N and TP in wastewater were detected, and the growth of C. vulgaris was evaluated by chlorophyll fluorescence activity as well as biomass production. Results indicated that an 8-fold dilution, pH adjusted to 6.0 and MgSO4·7H2O dosage of 0.1 mg·L−1 would be optimal for the pig urine pretreatment. C. vulgaris could stably accumulate biomass in the LRP-enhanced raceway pond when cultured by both BG11 medium and the pretreated pig urine. About 1.72 g·m−2·day−1 of microalgal biomass could be produced and 98.20% of NH4 +-N and 68.48% of TP could be removed during batch treatment. Hydraulic retention time of 7-9d would be optimal for both efficient nutrient removal and microalgal biomass production during continuous treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1644
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21466022, 21706087, 21766019, 21878139); The “Post-doctoral Innovative Talents Support Program” (BX20190147); The Funding for postdoctoral research projects in Jiangxi Province (2019KY04); The Key Project of Jiangxi Provincial Department of Science and Technology (20161BBF60057, 20181BBF60026).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


  • Chlorella vulgaris
  • Chlorophyll fluorescence
  • Hydraulic retention time
  • Nutrient removal
  • Photosynthetic reactor
  • Pig urine


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