Water, Wastewater & Stormwater

Oral

398833 - Development of Selective Pressures for Reliable Nitrogen and Phosphorus Recovery from Wastewaters by Microalgae

Monday, June 4
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Greenway EF
Co-Authors: Jennifer DeBellis, 205 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801 – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Brian Shoener, 205 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Stephanie Schramm, 205 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Courtney Ackerman, 205 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801 – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Microalgal resource recovery systems could significantly advance nutrient recovery from wastewater by achieving effluent nitrogen and phosphorus levels below the current limit of technology. A critical challenge to the advancement of intensive (i.e., small footprint) algal treatment systems is a lack of mechanistic understanding of how to design and operate systems that reliably – over daily and seasonal cycles – achieve effluent quality requirements for a given locality. This lack of understanding has impeded technology development and resulted in a reliance on empirical design standards. To advance the impact and adoption of algal processes, it is critical we develop selective pressures – conditions that drive natural selection in our engineered reactors – that result in robust, resilient, and predictable performance.

In this presentation I will synthesize my research group’s work on the development of selective pressures for microalgal bioprocesses and the mechanisms governing their efficacy. Results from both pure and mixed culture experiments will be presented to demonstrate the links between solids residence time (SRT), storage biopolymers, N:P uptake, and microbial community structure. Long-term, stable performance was observed across all operational conditions. 24-hour dynamics revealed the importance of intracellular carbon storage and the influence of SRT on storage dynamics, and SRT is also shown to influence N:P uptake ratios of algae. Next generation sequencing was leveraged to characterize the role of microbial community structure dynamics in observed phenomena. The presentation will conclude with a recommendation for a path forward for algal bioprocess development.

Jeremy Scott Guest, PhD

Assistant Professor
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Guest is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). His research focuses on resource recovery from wastewater and the development of intensive algal treatment processes. Dr. Guest is the recipient of a NSF CAREER Award, the Paul L. Busch Award from The Water Research Foundation, and a Beckman Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study at UIUC. Dr. Guest’s formal training includes a B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering from Bucknell University and Virginia Tech, respectively, and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Michigan.

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