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Nutrient Removal and Biokinetic Study of Freshwater Microalgae in Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME)


  • Faculty of Bioscience and Medical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
  • Malaysia Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 54100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Objectives: Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) is an untreated wastewater that causes water pollution when discharge directly. Therefore, the objective of this research lies on POME treatment using microalgae. Method: Batch cultivation of Chlorella sorokiniana was conducted with different volumes of POME to distilled water in order to determine it phycoremediation ability. Michealis-Menten equation was used as a model to study the biokinetic. The kinetic coefficients for substrate removal by this algae. Findings: This strain showed high efficiency of removing 31-62.2 % nitrate, 30.6-39.5 % phosphate, 54.1-95.1 % ammonium and 11-56.1 COD over 15 days culture. The nutrients biokinetic removals were determined as follows; k = 9.2*10-3 mg NO3 - mg-1 DCW d-1, Km = 68.7 mg/L, YN = 0.1 g DCW g-1 NO3 - for nitrate, k = 8*10-3 mg PO4 3- mg-1 DCW d-1, Km = 144.6 mg/L, YP = 0.12 g DCW g-1 PO4 3- for phosphate, k = 2.3*10-2 mg NH4 mg-1 DCW d-1, Km = 113 mg/L, YN = 0.08 g DCW g-1 NH4 + for ammonium and k = 0.15 mg COD mg-1 DCW d-1, Km = 1662 mg/L, YCOD = 0.02 g DCW g-1 COD for Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD). Application/Improvement: This study concluded that C. sorokiniana was successfully cultivated in POME and concomitantly produces important biomass which could be used for sustainable bioenergy production.


Biokinetic, Freshwater Microalgae, Nutrient Removal, Palm Oil Mill Effluent, Phycoremediation

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