Synergies of pH-induced calcium phosphate precipitation and magnetic separation for energy-efficient harvesting of freshwater microalgae

  • Autor:

    Kendir, S. / Franzreb, M. (2024)

  • Quelle:

    Bioresource Technology, 2024, 391, Part B, 129964

  • Datum: Januar 2024
  • Abstract

    Energy- and time-consuming concentration steps currently limit the industrial application of microalgae. Compared to state-of-the-art technologies, magnetic separation shows a high potential for efficient harvesting of microalgae. This study presents a novel approach to combine pH-induced calcium phosphate precipitation with cheap natural magnetite microparticles for magnetic separation of the freshwater microalgae Chlorella vulgaris. Harvesting efficiencies up to 98% were achieved at moderate pH and low particle and calcium phosphate concentrations in a model medium. However, cultivation-dependent high loads of algogenic organic matter can severely inhibit flocculation and particle/algae interactions, requiring higher salt concentrations or pH. Harvesting efficiencies above 90% were still attainable at moderate pH with increased calcium phosphate concentrations of 10 mM. Acidification of the suspension to pH 5 allows for simple and reversible particle recycling. The presented process provides a promising path to universal and cost-effective harvesting, advancing the utilization of microalgae as a sustainable bioresource.