Effect of Dilution on Nitrogen Removal from Ammonia Plant Effluent using Chlorella vulgaris and Spirulina platensis

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Center for Separation Processes Modeling and Nano-Computations, School of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Center for Separation Processes Modeling and Nano-Computations, School of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran Oil and Gas Center of Excellence, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Bojnord, Bojnord, Iran


In this study, the removal of nitrogen from effluent of ammonia plant by Chlorella vulgaris and Spirulina platensis was investigated. For this purpose, microalgae were cultivated in three diluting percentage of the wastewater (1, 3, and 5%) at 29±1 C and light intensity at surface of culture were adjusted to 150 µmol photon / (m2. s). The results showed that Spirulina platensis is more capable than Chlorella vulgaris to grow in high levels of total nitrogen concentration. Also, maximum biomass production rate happened in 1% diluted samples for Chlorella vulgaris and 3% for Spirulina platensis. Furthermore, Chlorella vulgaris reduce total nitrogen concentration up to 55%. This value for Spirulina platensis was about 96%. However, for both species the removal of nitrogen in 1% diluted wastewater was maximum. According to the results of diluted wastewater of ammonia plant, it is a suitable culture medium for microalgae and it can be used to remove the nitrogen before entering the wastewater in nature.


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