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Coupled nutrient removal from the wastewater and CO2 biofixation from the flue gas of iron and steel manufacturing

Cayli, Direnis
Uludag-Demirer, Sibel
Demirer, Göksel Niyazi
CO2 mitigation through photosynthesis has attracted attention as an alternative strategy over chemical methods because it is less costly and energy-consuming. When the microalgae are fed with wastewaters containing high nitrogen and phosphorus, they remove nitrogen and phosphorus from the wastewater. Moreover, the harvested biomass from microalgal reactors constitutes a raw material for the production of different high-value chemicals and bio-fuels. This study investigated the coupled removal of CO2 from the flue gas and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) in the wastewater originating from the coking unit of iron-steel industry by using microalgal photobioreactors. The results indicated that the flue gas from coking unit of a typical iron and steel factory and the wastewater from the same process supported the microalgal growth. Photobioreactors achieved CO2 fixation rates of 11.45-13.52 mg/L day. Notable nutrient (up to 77% total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) and 61% PO4) and heavy metal (72% Cr, 63% Fe, 22% Cu and over 90% Cd) removals were observed in the coking process wastewater which was used to grow microalgal cultures.