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Treatment of Wastewater from Mineral Processing by using Algae
Nowadays, the utilisation of algae in industrial processes to produce useful compounds or to treat waste streams is of great interest. Industrial wastewaters such as wastewater from mineral processing are becoming more and more an environmental issue. A lot of research projects all over the world are trying to find a sustainable, effective and cost-efficient way to treat these waste streams and deal with the usage of algae and Algae Turf Scrubbers (ATS).
In this Bachelor Thesis, the treatment of wastewater from mineral processing using algae in an Algae Turf Scrubber is presented. For this thesis project, wastewater from mineral processing from the Talvivaara Mining Company Plc. was used. The difficulties that this water creates for algal growth and viability is shown. Pollutants such as heavy metals (Ni & Zn), alkali metals (Na & K) and sulphates were analysed to investigate algal removal possibilities. The pH-level and illumination were monitored all the time in order to control for their effects.
For purposes of comparison, in addition to the ATS system, two other systems, a willow stack tower and an ebb and flow system, were used in a comparable way in this project to treat wastewater from mineral processing.
The first test runs in this research project show two ways in which it is not possible to treat wastewater from mineral processing with algae. Nevertheless, the tests gave good background information about which properties have to be adjusted to treat wastewater from mineral processing successfully.