|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 6|
The commercial production of biodiesel using microalgae demands a high-energy input for harvesting biomass, making production economically unfeasible. Methods currently used involve mechanical, chemical, and biological procedures. In this work, a flocculation system is presented as a cost and energy effective process to increase biomass production of Phaeodactylum tricornutum. This diatom is the only species of the genus that present fast growth and lipid accumulation ability that are of great interest for biofuel production. The algae, selected from the Bank of Microalgae, Institute of Biology, Federal University of Bahia (Brazil), have been bred in tubular reactor with photoperiod of 12 h (clear/dark), providing luminance of about 35 μmol photons m-2s-1, and temperature of 22 °C. The medium used for growing cells was the Conway medium, with addition of silica. The seaweed growth curve was accompanied by cell count in Neubauer camera and by optical density in spectrophotometer, at 680 nm. The precipitation occurred at the end of the stationary phase of growth, 21 days after inoculation, using two methods: centrifugation at 5000 rpm for 5 min, and electro-flocculation at 19 EPD and 95 W. After precipitation, cells were frozen at -20 °C and, subsequently, lyophilized. Biomass obtained by electro-flocculation was approximately four times greater than the one achieved by centrifugation. The benefits of this method are that no addition of chemical flocculants is necessary and similar cultivation conditions can be used for the biodiesel production and pharmacological purposes. The results may contribute to improve biodiesel production costs using marine microalgae.
Large volumes of river sediments are dredged each year in Europe in order to maintain harbour activities and prevent floods. The management of this sediment has become increasingly complex. Several European projects were implemented to find environmentally sound solutions for these materials. The main objective of this study is to show the ability of river sediment to be used in road. Since sediments contain a high amount of water, then a dehydrating treatment by addition of the flocculation aid has been used. Firstly, a lot of physical characteristics are measured and discussed for a better identification of the raw sediment and this dehydrated sediment by addition the flocculation aid. The identified parameters are, for example, the initial water content, the density, the organic matter content, the grain size distribution, the liquid limit and plastic limit and geotechnical parameters. The environmental impacts of the used material were evaluated. The results obtained show that there is a slight change on the physical-chemical and geotechnical characteristics of sediment after dehydration by the addition of polymer. However, these sediments cannot be used in road construction.