Masters Theses


"Although microalgae are considered to be one of the potentially significant feedstock for renewable biofuels, harvesting them efficiently from culture ponds has been a major hurdle. The conventional harvesting methods such as centrifugation and filtration are very time and labor intensive processes. Gravimetrical settlement with the aid of cationic flocculants is the most widely employed technique, but suffers from the difficulty in recovering microalgae floes. Furthermore, recycling of these flocculants after the harvesting process is not possible. Polymer-coated magnetite particles have been investigated for applications in various fields. This research has focused on the development of a novel and efficient process involving the flocculation of microalgae with polymer-coated magnetite particles to efficiently settle the microalgae and then easily remove from the ponds by using a magnetic field. Two different types of polymers, chitosan and polyacrylamide, were coated on the magnetite particles that were synthesized to a micron size(- 10 11m dia. and- 8% polymer wt.). These micro-particles containing cationic and non-ionic polymers effectively flocculated microalgae through the patching and bridging mechanisms, respectively. The floes were then easily removed using a magnet and separated into microalgae and flocculant particles after drying. The recovered polymer-coated magnetite particles showed same flocculating efficiency when reused. Polymer-coated magnetite particles were also effective in removing humic acids dissolved in water, thereby showing the potential application in wastewater treatment. The conditions such as particle size, pH, dose, time, etc. were investigated for optimum flocculation"--Abstract, page iii.


Al-Dahhan, Muthanna H.

Committee Member(s)

Nam, Paul Ki-souk
Ludlow, Douglas K.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Chemical Engineering


Missouri Life Sciences Research Board
United States. Department of Agriculture. CSREES Evans Allen Grant


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date



xi, 88 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 83-87).


© 2010 Humayun Shariff, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Biodiesel fuels
Algae -- Biotechnology

Thesis Number

T 10217

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #


Link to Catalog Record

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