Mitigating ammonia nitrogen deficiency in dairy wastewaters for algae cultivation

Qian Lu, Wenguang Zhou, Min Min, Xiaochen Ma, Yiwei Ma, Paul Chen, Hongli Zheng, Yen T T Doan, Hui Liu, Chi Chen, Pedro E. Urriola, Gerald C. Shurson, Roger Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


This study demonstrated that the limiting factor to algae growth on dairy wastewater was the ammonia nitrogen deficiency. Dairy wastewaters were mixed with a slaughterhouse wastewater that has much higher ammonia nitrogen content. The results showed the mixing wastewaters improved the nutrient profiles and biomass yield at low cost. Algae grown on mixed wastewaters contained high protein (55.98-66.91%) and oil content (19.10-20.81%) and can be exploited to produce animal feed and biofuel. Furthermore, algae grown on mixed wastewater significantly reduced nutrient contents remained in the wastewater after treatment. By mitigating limiting factor to algae growth on dairy wastewaters, the key issue of low biomass yield of algae grown on dairy wastewaters was resolved and the wastewater nutrient removal efficiency was significantly improved by this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was in part supported by grants from Minnesota Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources ( LCCMR ), UMN MnDRIVE and Center for Biorefining .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015.


  • Biomass
  • Chlorella vulgaris
  • Dairy wastewater
  • Mixing
  • Nutrient removal


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