Cultivation of Nannochloropsis salina in municipal wastewater or digester centrate

Bingfeng Dong, Nam Ho, Kimberly L. Ogden, Robert G. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Meaningful use of biofuels for transportation depends on utilization of water from non-traditional, non-potable resources. Here it is hypothesized that (i) reclaimed wastewater or nutrient-rich side streams derived from municipal wastewater treatment are suitable for that purpose and (ii) use of those waters for algal growth can promote water quality through nutrient management. Experiments showed that metals levels in municipal wastewaters are unlikely to inhibit algal growth and lipid production, at least by metals tolerant microalgae like Nannochloropsis salina. Cells grew without inhibition in treated municipal wastewater or centrate derived from wastewater treatment at additions up to 75 percent v/v in their normal growth medium minus nitrogen and phosphorus. Although wastewater provides a suitable nutrient source for algal growth, not enough municipal wastewater is available to support a meaningful biofuels industry without efficient water recycling and nutrient recovery/reuse from spent algae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Biodiesel
  • Lipid production
  • Municipal wastewater
  • Nannochloropsis salina
  • Nutrient removal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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