Growing Chlorella vulgaris on mixed wastewaters for biodiesel feedstock production and nutrient removal

Xiangyuan Deng, Kun Gao, Min Addy, Paul Chen, Da Li, Renchuan Zhang, Qian Lu, Yiwei Ma, Yanling Cheng, Yuhuan Liu, Roger Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Large water footprint and nutrients demand are two of the major issues during microalgae cultivation. In this study, anaerobically digested swine manure was mixed with centrate at different minimal dilution multiples (2×, 3×, 4×, 6× and 8×), which was used as media to cultivate Chlorella vulgaris (UTEX 2714) for reducing the production cost of algae cultivation and balancing the nutrient profiles of culture media. RESULTS: Chlorella vulgaris (UTEX 2714) grew well on the mixed wastewaters with a biomass productivity of 132.2 to 440.3 mg L−1 d−1. Nutrients in the mixed wastewaters were removed effectively by this alga, and the removal efficiencies of ammonium (NH4 +-N), total nitrogen (TN), chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total phosphorus (TP) ranged from 98.3, 46.9, 30.2 and 21.8 to 99.3, 71.4, 42.2 and 80.4%, respectively. Additionally, chemical compositions, such as pigments, carbohydrate, protein and lipids, in this alga varied with the change of dilution multiple due to the different nutrient profiles of culture media. Predicted properties of biodiesel from the oils of this alga satisfied the specifications of biodiesel, ASTM D6751-08 and EN 14214 standards. CONCLUSION: Biomass of C. vulgaris (UTEX 2714) can be used as a good-quality feedstock for biodiesel production when grown on mixed wastewaters. This novel integration of using mixed wastewaters to cultivate microalgae would be an effective way to reduce the production cost of algal biomass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2748-2757
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Qinglan Project of Jiangsu Province (2016), the Jiangsu Overseas Research and Training Program for University Prominent Young and Middle-aged Teachers and Presidents, and the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) and University of Minnesota Center for Biorefining.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Society of Chemical Industry


  • Chlorella vulgaris
  • anaerobically digested swine manure
  • biodiesel properties
  • centrate
  • chemical compositions
  • nutrient removal


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