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A Techno-Economic Analysis of the Usage of Macroalgae Culture for the Post Treatment of Anaerobic Digestion Piggery Effluent

Lange, C. (2017) A Techno-Economic Analysis of the Usage of Macroalgae Culture for the Post Treatment of Anaerobic Digestion Piggery Effluent. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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This study investigates the system design requirements for successful macroalgae cultivation for optimal Nitrogen and Phosphorus removal in diluted anaerobic digestion piggery effluent. Allowing for high quality water output and recycling in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. The capital and operational costs of this system for the total waste treatment of a medium and large scale piggery, housing 400 and 2,000 sows, respectively, are completed. These are then compared to the potential profits made through the electrical generation of harvested biomass through anaerobic digestion and animal feed pellets.

The use of macroalgae for the treatment of anaerobic digestion piggery effluent is a new field of interest compared to microalgae (a heavily researched area). Where the microscopic make-up of the microalgae species results in costly harvesting and dewatering methods. As the multicellular clumping of macroalgae species allows for increased harvesting efficiencies. The advantages of macroalgae growth compared to other treatment methods follow successful trials of species cultivation in diluted substrate. Advantages include the recovery of nutrients through biomass production, increased environmental sustainability, pollution avoidance, and higher economical returns.

There is no payback period for the two-system sizings as the operational costs far exceed the total annual profits. However, there remains much potential in this usage of anaerobic digestion piggery effluent treatment through further hybrid system designs of micro and macroalgae treatment systems. Potentially leading to reduced land area requirements, evaporation rates and elemental inputs for achievable Nitrogen removal. It is recommended that further study in this field is necessary.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Bahri, Parisa
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