MAASICA – Microalgae based activated sludge process integrated with co-digestion of algae and sludge

The aim of the project is to optimize the energy recovery from the microalgae based activated sludge (MAAS) process with bacteria/algae community for municipal waste water treatment followed by co-digestion of the produced microalgae and sewage sludge to provide an overall energy efficient water and sludge treatment system.

Description of the project

A combination of pilot plant operation and specialized laboratory experiments will allow us to understand the influence of the operation parameters on the biomass growth and sludge properties. Parameters of certain interest are (kinetics of); light penetration and absorption, nutrient assimilation and recovery, biomass recirculation and wasting (harvest), CO2-mitigation and hazardous pollutant adsorption and degradation. Of special interest is the interaction between oxygen and carbon dioxide production and consumption together with the pH as control parameters for the biological activities and accordingly the loading of the system.

Analysis of results from continuous and batch tests of co-digestion of microalgae and sludge and modelling of the process will be made to better understand the behaviour of the co-digestion process.

Previous experiments and theoretical studies have indicated that ring structured molecules could be degraded by photothermal treatment of wastewater during lighted conditions as well as by the extensive surplus of oxygen presented in our pilot plant. Therefore, the MAASICA-project will also include investigation of the degradation of pharmaceuticals in both the existing wastewater treatment plant as well as the in the pilot MAAS followed by co-digestion of microalgae and sludge.