Optimization of Detention Time for Domestic Wastewater Treatment using Phycoremediation

Document Type : Original Research Paper


Civil Engineering Department, Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 395007, Surat, India


In developing countries, wastewater treatment is confined to secondary systems. Hence even after treatment, wastewater effluent has a high level of nutrients which causes eutrophication and has destructive impacts on receiving bodies. Literature reveals that phycoremediation can be the best solution to address the problem faced but is time-consuming, ranging from days to weeks. Hence, the present study aimed to determine an optimum detention time for the microalgal system to treat domestic wastewater. The retention time for treatment in the study was divided into an aeration and settling periods. During the study, aeration time varied from 2 hours to 24 hours, followed by 1-hour settling period for each aeration time. Optimum detention time for microalgal treatment was obtained at 11 hours of detention time (10 hours aeration and 1-hour settling). Parameters analyzed during the study were pH, EC, TS, TSS, TDS, nitrate, phosphate, ammonia, COD and DO. However, the main focus was on nutrients (phosphate and ammonia) and organics (COD) removal while determining the optimum detention time. Maximum removal efficiency obtained for COD, ammonia and phosphate for non-filtered effluent was 75.61%, 90.63% and 83.29%, respectively. However, removal efficiency further increased for filtered effluents to 86.34%, 100% and 91.12% for COD, ammonia and phosphate, respectively. Algal treatment offers an ecologically safe and more affordable system for nutrient removal and eliminates the need for tertiary treatment.


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