J. Bio. Env. Sci.5(2), 85-96, August 2014
Electro-flocculation is one of the technologies which have been considered for microalgae harvesting by many researchers in recent years. In this paper, electro-flocculation has been used for the harvesting and recovery Dounalila Salina microalgae from the culture medium. The effect of current intensity, time for electro-flocculation, electrode gap, stirring speed and electrode material on harvesting and recovery microalgae was investigated in batch test, and the modeling of microalgae recovery process was conducted by response surface methodology with combining categorical and numeric factors based on the D-optimal design. The modified quadratic model was used to fit the microalgae recovery efficiency data obtained from each batch test. The coefficients of determination (R2), adjusted and predicted were more than 0.98, 0.96 and 0.90 respectively, which indicated that the modified quadratic model could describe the microalgae recovery efficiency in the batch tests of this study successfully. The results indicated that the linear effect of independent variable on the recovery efficiency is very statistically significant. Moreover with increasing the electric current intensity and time for electro-flocculation, or reduce the distance between the electrodes, the recovery efficiency has increased significantly. Also by increasing stirrer speed from 0 to 200 rpm the amount of recovery efficiency is increased, and by increasing stirrer speed from 200 to 400 rpm the amount of recovery efficiency has decreased. The results showed that aluminum electrodes on the recovery of microalgae from the culture medium are more efficient than iron electrodes.
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