The objective of this study was to investigate the microalgal dewatering efficiency of a belt filter system for feed concentrations below 10 g dry wt./L. A prototype belt filtration system designed for 50 g dry wt./L microalgal feed concentration was used for this investigation. The highest concentration of microalgal suspension available for testing on the prototype belt filtration system was 6 g dry wt./L obtained from biomass settling tanks at the Lawrence, Kansas domestic wastewater treatment plant. For preparation of feed suspension with concentrations below 10 g dry wt./L, microalgal cultivation was followed by flocculation. A mixed laboratory culture of freshwater species dominated by three eukaryotic green microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris, Scenedesmus sp., and Kirchneriella sp.) was cultivated in wastewater effluent. This was followed by flocculation which resulted in a microalgal feed suspension concentration of 4 g dry wt./L. Belt dewatering tests were conducted on microalgal suspensions with feed concentrations of 4 g dry wt./L and 6 g dry wt./L. The maximum microalgal recovery with the belt dewatering system was 46% from the 4 g dry wt./L, and 84% from the 6 g dry wt./L suspensions respectively. The results of this study indicate that microalgal suspension concentrations as low as 6 g dry wt./L can be recovered with a belt filter system improving the overall dewatering efficiency of the system.
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Sandip, Anjali; Smith, Val H.; and Faddis, Terry N., "An experimental investigation of microalgal dewatering efficiency of belt filter system" (2015). Mechanical Engineering Faculty Publications. 6.