Year of Publication

2016

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (MSBiosyAgE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture; Engineering

Department

Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Czarena Crofcheck

Abstract

Algae can be used as a feedstock for agricultural fertilizers, livestock/poultry feeds, anaerobic digestion, and biofuel production. Regardless of the end product, water removal is necessary and difficult to do cost effectively. For each product the requirements for moisture content (or solids content) vary, such that a desirable water removal strategy would need to be adaptable to varying levels of water removal. Flocculation, with sedimentation and drying was evaluated as a possible strategy for algae dewatering. Anionic and nonionic flocculants are known to be ineffective at flocculating algal culture, which was confirmed for this case by electro-osmotic flow testing of the algae and jar tests with three flocculant charge types. Electrophoretic mobility of the algae indicated that it has a negative charge and no flocs were present in the jars. The effectiveness of the cationic flocculant was determined by measuring settling rates, supernatant turbidity, and filtration rates. Sedimentation and filtration rates of Scenedesmus acutus were measured with varying dosages (0-25 ppm) of a synthetic cationic polymeric flocculant. The results of this study should assist in predicting the time it takes to thicken algae at a concentration range of 0.4-1.0 g/L to a product at a concentration range of 15-250 g/L.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2016.230

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