Exploring indigenous freshwater chlorophytes in integrated biophotovoltaic system for simultaneous wastewater treatment, heavy metal biosorption, CO2 biofixation and biodiesel generation

Elvis Kodzo Ahiahonu, William Wilson Anku, Ashira Roopnarain, Ezekiel Green, Mahloro Hope Serepa-Dlamini, Penny Poomani Govender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The study explored the combined photosynthetic activities of two green microalgal species, Tetradesmus obliquus and Tetradesmus reginae, on an integrated biophotovoltaic (BPV) platform for simultaneous wastewater treatment, toxic metal biosorption, carbon biofixation, bioelectricity generation and biodiesel production. The experimental setup comprised of a dual-chambered BPV with copper anode surrounded by T. obliquus in BG11 media, and copper cathode with T. reginae in municipal wastewater separated by Nafion 117 membrane. The study reported a maximum power density of 0.344 Wm−2 at a cell potential of 0.415 V with external resistance of 1000 Ω and 0.3268 V maximum open-circuit voltage. The wastewater electrical conductivity and pH increased from 583 ± 22 to 2035 ± 29.31 mS/cm and 7.403 ± 0.174 to 8.263 ± 0.055 respectively, signifying increased photosynthetic and electrochemical activities. Residual nitrogen, phosphorus, chemical oxygen demand, arsenic, cadmium, chromium and lead removal efficiencies by T. reginae were 100%, 80.68%, 71.91%, 47.6%, 88.82%, 71.24% and 92.96%, respectively. T. reginae accumulated maximum biomass of 0.605 ± 0.033 g/L with a CO2 biosequestration rate of 0.166 ± 0.010 gCO2/L/day and 42.40 ± 1.166% lipid content. Methyl palmitate, methyl undecanoate and 13-octadecenoic acid with relative abundances of 37.24%, 24.80% and 12.02%, respectively were confirmed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108208
JournalBioelectrochemistry
Volume147
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Algae
  • Biodiesel generation
  • Biophotovoltaic
  • CO biofixation
  • Heavy metal biosorption
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrochemistry

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