Ammonium removal from anaerobically treated effluent by Chlamydomonas acidophila

Ania Escudero *, Fernando Blanco, Arrate Lacalle, Miriam Pinto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Several batch culture studies were carried out to evaluate an anaerobically treated effluent as a low-cost growth medium for the microalga Chlamydomonas acidophila and to study the effectiveness of the microalga in removing NH4-N from the effluent. An initial decrease in the effluent pH to 3 was required for adequate growth of C. acidophila and removal of NH4-N. Growth of the microalgae was inhibited at high light intensity (224μmolphotonsm-2s-1 at the surface of the vessels). However, the growth was not greatly affected by the high solid content and turbidity of the effluent. The microalga was able to grow in media containing NH4-N at concentrations of up to 1000mgL-1 (50% of effluent) and to remove 88mg of NH4-NL-1 in 10days. C. acidophila therefore appears a promising agent for the removal of NH4-N from anaerobically treated effluents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-68
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Chlamydomonas acidophila
  • microalgae
  • Anaerobically treated effluent
  • Ammonium removal
  • Biological treatment
  • Microalgae


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