(676b) Conversion of Wastewater Treatment Facilities Into Biorefineries | AIChE

(676b) Conversion of Wastewater Treatment Facilities Into Biorefineries


Hall, J. - Presenter, Mississippi State University
French, T. - Presenter, Mississippi State University
Hernandez, R. - Presenter, Mississippi State University
Holmes, W. - Presenter, Mississippi State University
Mondala, A. H. - Presenter, Mississippi State University

Oleaginous yeasts are a type of microorganism that can produce up to 70 percent of their body weight in oil. The use of this type of microorganism as a source of oils for biofuel production is limited by the availability of cost effective carbon, water, and other nutrient sources. A growth medium that has not been utilized for cultivating oleaginous microorganisms is wastewater. This study is designed to research the cultivation of an oleaginous microorganism consortium on primary effluent wastewater amended with synthetic acid hydrolysate to produce an abundant amount of oil while simultaneously treating the water. The cell mass yield, oil percentage, and oil yield are measured using well-established techniques such Bligh & Dyer and transesterification. In addition, water quality is measured by determining the chemical oxygen demand (COD) in the wastewater after the consortium reaches stationary phase. These quantities will determine the efficacy of the oleaginous microorganisms assist in removing wastewater contaminants. Preliminary results show that the microorganisms reach stationary phase within 24 hours of cultivation. The use of wastewater as a growth medium does not inhibit the growth of the consortium. Also, the addition of indigenous microorganisms does not completely inhibit the growth of the consortium. These results also show a maximum COD reduction of approximately 75% after 72 hours of cultivation. This modification could potentially generate billions of gallons of oil for producing biofuels.