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Microalgal technology replaces bacterial bioremediation

March 3, 2016 — by Dr. V Sivasubramanian

Slope – illumination – aeration panel of algal ETP – Large scale

Slope – illumination – aeration panel of algal ETP – Large scale

India-based Phycospectrum Environmental Research Centre (PERC) has installed a 550 KL treatment facility at Pasupati Acrylon, an acrylic fibre manufacturing industry in India. PERC has installed similar facilities based on microalgal technology in a number of industries in India and Colombia. The facility at this acrylon fibre manufacturing company is unique, however, as it is replacing a bacteria-based remediation tank.

Showing algal growth in the reaction tank and on the slope surface

Showing algal growth in the reaction tank and on the slope surface

Pasupati Acrylon Ltd is one of the largest producers of acrylic fiber in India, with products ranging from raw white and bleached fiber to tow-dyed fabric. Recently, the company established a gel-dyeing unit to produce fabric of a much superior nature. Because the gel dye is a liquid, in order to prevent microbial activity, significant amounts of anti-microbial agents are present in the dye.

Comparison of treated effluent with raw effluent

Comparison of treated effluent with raw effluent

The effluent has a high level of microbial toxicity and, because of which, conventional bacterial remediation solutions failed. The industry has an Activated Sludge Process of 7800 M3, but the addition of just 100 m3 of raw gel dye effluent would upset the reactor for days. A more advanced and robust treatment system was needed for tackling this toxicity.

PERC developed a microalgal treatment technology and a 550 KL with 3 m depth plant was commissioned last month. In a continuous flow of 3 m3/hr or 76 m3/day, a complete removal of toxicity from effluent was achieved. More than 90% COD reduction was achieved.

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