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A Novel Approach for Bioremediation of a Coastal Marine Wastewater Effluent Based on Artificial Microbial Mats



A novel alternative for wastewater effluent bioremediation was developed using constructed microbial mats on low-density polyester. This biotechnology showed high removal efficiencies for nitrogen and phosphorous in a short retention time (48 h): 94% for orthophosphate (7.78 g $$ PO_{4} ^{{3 - }} - P $$ m 3 d −1 ), 79% for ammonium (11.30 g $$ NH_{4} ^{ + } - N $$ m −3 d −1 ), 78% for nitrite (7.46 g $$ NO_{2} ^{ - } - N $$ m −3 d −1 ), and 83% for nitrate (8.55 g $$ NO_{3} ^{ - } - N $$ m −3 d −1 ). The microbial mats were dominated by Cyanobacteria genera such as Chroococcus sp., Lyngbya sp., and bacteria of the subclass Proteobacteria representative of the Eubacteria Domain. Nitzschia sp. was the dominant Eukaryote Domain. Various N and P substrates in the wastewater permit the growth of self-forming and self-sustaining bacterial, microalgal, and cyanobacterial communities on a polyester support. The result is the continuous, self-sufficient growth of microbial mats. This is an innovative, economical, and environmentally safe alternative for the treatment of wastewater effluents in coastal marine environments.



Marine BiotechnologySpringer Journals

Published: Mar 1, 2008

DOI: 10.1007/s10126-007-9050-0

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