A pH-dependent enhancement effect of a co-cultured bacterium Bacillus licheniformis on nutrient removal by a green alga Chlorella vulgaris was evaluated in a 6-day experiment. In the single algal system, steady removal efficiencies of ammonia nitrogen (NH₄-N) and total phosphorus (TP) were achieved at 63 and 91% with 10 × 10⁵ algal cells mL⁻¹, meanwhile the optimal removal rates of NH₄-N and TP were achieved at 10.2 and 7.3 mg 10−10 cells day⁻¹ with initial concentrations of 10 mg L⁻¹ NH₄-N and 2 mg L⁻¹ TP, respectively. In the bacteria-co-cultured algal system, the removal efficiency of NH₄-N was significantly increased to 78% with an algae/bacteria cell density ratio of 1:1, compared with 63% in the single algal system under the same conditions. However, a decrease in pH was detected in the algal-co-cultured system and the removal efficiency of NH₄-N could be raised to 86% by regulating pH from acidic (pH 3.5) to neutral. Furthermore, algal cells in the pH-unregulated algal-co-cultured system (acid medium) were observed as close-grained spheres by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), while cells were wrinkled in the pH-regulated algal-co-cultured system (neutral medium) at the end of tests. These results suggest a potential application of bacteria-co-cultured algal system for effective nutrient removal from wastewater by adjusting pH (base addition) during the process. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V..
CitationLiang, L., Liu, Y., Ge, F., Liu, N., & Wong, M. (2015). A pH-dependent enhancement effect of co-cultured Bacillus licheniformis on nutrient removal by Chlorella vulgaris. Ecological Engineering, 75, 258-263.
- Nutrient removal
- Co-cultured bacteria
- Enhancement effect