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    Palm oil mill effluent (POME) has high chemical oxygen demand (COD), thus requires effective treatments to environmentally benign levels before discharge. In this study, immobilized microalgae cells are used for removing pollutants in treated palm oil mill effluent (TPOME). Different ratios of microalgae beads to TPOME concentration were examined at 1:2.5, 1:5, and 1:10. The biomass concentration and COD removal were measured through a standard method. The color of the cultivated microalgae beads changed from light green to darker green after the POME treatment for 9 days, hence demonstrating that microalgae cells were successfully grown inside the beads with pH up to 9.84. The immobilized cells cultivated in the POME at 1:10 achieved a higher biomass concentration of 1.268 g/L and a COD removal percentage of 72% than other treatment ratios. The increment of the ratio of microalgae cells beads to POME concentration did not cause any improvement in COD removal efficiency. This was due to the inhibitory effect of self-shading resulting in the slow growth rate of microalgae cells which responsible for low COD removal. Therefore, this system could be a viable technology for simultaneous biomass production and POME treatment. This will contribute to research efforts toward the development of new and improved technologies in treating POME.


    Quin Emparan, Razif Harun, Yew Sing Jye. Efficiency of pollutants removal in treated palm oil mill effluent (TPOME) using different concentrations of sodium alginate-immobilized Nannochloropsis sp. cells. International journal of phytoremediation. 2021;23(5):454-461

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    PMID: 32976718

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