Masters Theses


"Microalgae are potential biofuel feedstocks that can provide solutions to the twin challenges of energy security and environmental pollution. They have great potential for the removal of excess nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater including the farm runoff. They can capture carbon dioxide in the flue gas from coal fired power plants thereby reducing greenhouse gas and also producing algal biomass, which can be converted into biofuel. In this study, the nutrient consumption of Scenedesmus algae was investigated in a batch culture and the biomass yield was determined. Algae were able to utilize carbon in the form of soluble carbonates which can be derived from carbon dioxide. Dewatering of microalgal biomass is a major obstacle in large scale cultivation. Harvesting algal culture in different proportions, 10-90% volume, revealed that the less-frequent removal of larger volume produced similar amount of biomass but required lower labor cost. Chitosan was found to be an effective bioflocculant for the separation of algae via the flocculation-aided settlement method. Approximately 30% reduction in the rate of biomass yield was observed when the water from the flocculation-aided harvesting process was recycled for the subsequent cultivation. The prevalence of herbicides such as atrazine in aquatic systems can present a problem if wastewater is utilized in the cultivation of microalgae due to its potential toxicity. The maximum tolerance level of atrazine for the Scenedesmus algae was found. This study showed the potential of using microalgae to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus in wastewater. The ability of algae to use soluble carbonate salts for their growth could be implemented to sequester carbon dioxide from power plants when the algae ponds are not located near them"--Abstract, page iii.


Nam, Paul Ki-souk
Burken, Joel G. (Joel Gerard)

Committee Member(s)

Fitch, Mark W.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Environmental Engineering


Dr. Joel G. Burken served as Academic Advisor and Dr. Paul Ki-souk Nam served as Research Advisor for this thesis.


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Summer 2010


ix, 78 pages


© 2010 Anand Murali Narasimhan, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Biomass energy

Thesis Number

T 9678

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