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Flocculation of microalgae using cationic starch
Vandamme, D.; Foubert, I.; Meesschaert, B.; Muylaert, K. (2010). Flocculation of microalgae using cationic starch. J. Appl. Phycol. 22(4): 525-530.
In: Journal of Applied Phycology. Springer: Dordrecht. ISSN 0921-8971, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 258463 [ OMA ]

Author keywords
    Modified starch; Quaternary ammonium; Microalgal harvesting; Flocculation

Authors  Top 
  • Vandamme, D., more
  • Foubert, I., more
  • Meesschaert, B.
  • Muylaert, K., more

    Due to their small size and low concentration in the culture medium, cost-efficient harvesting of microalgae is a major challenge. We evaluated the potential of cationic starch as a flocculant for harvesting microalgae using jar test experiments. Cationic starch was an efficient flocculant for freshwater (Parachlorella, Scenedesmus) but not for marine microalgae (Phaeodactylum, Nannochloropsis). At high cationic starch doses, dispersion restabilization was observed. The required cationic starch dose to induce flocculation increased linearly with the initial algal biomass concentration. Of the two commercial cationic starch flocculants tested, Greenfloc 120 (used in wastewater treatment) was more efficient than Cargill C*Bond HR 35.849 (used in paper manufacturing). For flocculation of Parachlorella using Greenfloc 120, the cationic starch to algal biomass ratio required to flocculate 80% of algal biomass was 0.1. For Scenedesmus, a lower dose was required (ratio 0.03). Flocculation of Parachlorella using Greenfloc 120 was independent of pH in the pH range of 5 to 10. Measurements of the maximum quantum yield of PSII suggest that Greenfloc 120 cationic starch was not toxic to Parachlorella. Cationic starch may be used as an efficient, nontoxic, cost-effective, and widely available flocculant for harvesting microalgal biomass.

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