Advanced Treatment of Wastewater Using Symbiotic Co-culture of Microalgae and Bacteria

미세조류와 박테리아의 공생 배양을 이용한 하폐수 고도처리

  • Mujtaba, Ghulam (Department of Environmental Engineering and Energy, Myongji University) ;
  • Lee, Kisay (Department of Environmental Engineering and Energy, Myongji University)
  • Received : 2016.01.05
  • Accepted : 2016.01.12
  • Published : 2016.02.10


The co-culture system of microalgae and bacteria enables simultaneous removal of BOD and nutrients in a single reactor if the pair of microorganisms is symbiotic. In this case, nutrients are converted to biomass constituents of microalgae. This review highlights the importance and recent researches using symbiotic co-culture system of microalgae and bacteria in wastewater treatment, focusing on the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus. During wastewater treatment, the microalgae produces molecular oxygen through photosynthesis, which can be used as an electron acceptor by aerobic bacteria to degrade organic pollutants. The released $CO_2$ during the bacterial mineralization can then be consumed by microalgae as a carbon source in photosynthesis. Microalgae and bacteria in the co-culture system could cooperate or compete each other for resources. In the context of wastewater treatment, positive relationships are prerequisite to accomplish the sustainable removal of nutrients. Therefore, the selection of compatible species is very important if the co-culture has to be utilized in wastewater treatment.


Supported by : Myongji University


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