Batch anaerobic co-digestion of waste activated sludge and microalgae (Chlorella sorokiniana) at mesophilic temperature

Carolina Beltrán, David Jeison, Fernando G. Fermoso, Rafael Borja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT: The microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana are used as co-substrate for waste activated sludge (WAS) anaerobic digestion. The specific objective of this research was to evaluate the feasibility of improving methane production from anaerobic digestion of WAS in co-digestion with this microalga, based on an optimized mixture percentage. Thus, the anaerobic co-digestion of both substrates aims to overcome the drawbacks of the anaerobic digestion of single WAS, simultaneously improving its management. Different co-digestion mixtures (0% WAS-100% microalgae; 25% WAS-75% microalgae; 50% WAS-50% microalgae; 75% WAS-25% microalgae; 100% WAS-0% microalgae) were studied. The highest methane yield (442 mL CH4/g VS) was obtained for the mixture with 75% WAS and 25% microalgae. This value was 22% and 39% higher than that obtained in the anaerobic digestion of the sole substrates WAS and microalgae, respectively, as well as 16% and 25% higher than those obtained for the co-digestion mixtures with 25% WAS and 75% microalgae and 50% WAS and 50% microalgae, respectively. The kinetic constant of the process increased 42%, 42% and 12%, respectively, for the mixtures with 25%, 50% and 75% of WAS compared to the substrate without WAS. Anaerobic digestion of WAS, together with C. sorokiniana, has been clearly improved by ensuring its viability, suitability and efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847-850
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - 23 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaerobic co-digestion
  • batch studies
  • mesophilic temperature
  • microalgae
  • waste activated sludge


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