International Journal of Molecular Sciences vol:16 pages:4250-4264
In this study, zeolite was employed for the separation and recovery of P from synthetic wastewater and its use as phosphorus (P) source for the cultivation of the green microalga Chlorella vulgaris and the cyanobacterium Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis. At P-loaded zeolite concentration of 0.15–1 g/L, in which P was limited, the two species displayed quite different behavior regarding their growth and biomass composition. C. vulgaris preferred to increase the intracellular P and did not synthesize biomass, while A. platensis synthesized biomass keeping the intracellular P as low as possible. In addition under P limitation, C. vulgaris did display some little alteration of the biomass composition, while A. platensis did it significantly, accumulating carbohydrates around 70% from about 15%–20% (control). Both species could desorb P from zeolite biologically. A. platensis could recover over 65% and C. vulgaris 25% of the P bounded onto zeolite. When P-loaded zeolite concentration increased to 5 g/L, P was adequate to support growth for both species. Especially in the case of C. vulgaris, growth was stimulated from the presence of P-loaded zeolite and produced more biomass compared to the control.