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Mika Erik Tapio Sillanpää

Post-treatment of palm oil mill effluent using immobilised green microalgae chlorococcum oleofaciens

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Kah Aik Tan, Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • ,
  • Japareng Lalung, Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • ,
  • Norhashimah Morad, Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • ,
  • Norli Ismail, Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • ,
  • Wan Maznah Wan Omar, Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • ,
  • Moonis Ali Khan, King Saud University
  • ,
  • Mika Sillanpää
  • Mohd Rafatullah, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Microalgae immobilisation can be a long-term solution for effective wastewater post-treatment. This study was conducted to evaluate the ability of immobilised Chlorococcum oleofaciens to remove contaminants from palm oil mill effluent (POME) until it complies with the POME discharge standard. First, the native dominating green microalga was isolated from a polishing POME treatment pond. Then, the microalgae cells were immobilised on sodium alginate beads and cultivated in a lab-scale-treated POME to treat it further. The immobilised microalgae cells demonstrated a high removal of total phosphorus, total nitrogen, ammonia nitrogen, and soluble chemical oxygen demand with 90.43%, 93.51%, 91.26%, and 50.72% of reduction, respectively. Furthermore, the growth rate of the microalgae fitted nicely with the Verhulst logistical model with r2 of more than 0.99, indicating the model’s suitability in modelling the growth. Thus, we concluded that the species can be used for post-treatment of effluents to remove TP, TN, and ammonia nitrogen from palm oil mills until it complies with the POME effluent discharge standard. However, during the process, degradation of the beads occurred and the COD value in-creased. Therefore, it is not suitable to be used for COD removal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11562
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

    Research areas

  • Alginate beads, C. oleofaciens, Green microalgae, Immobilisation, POME treatment, Post-treatment

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