Grasas y Aceites, Vol 67, No 3 (2016)

Culture of microalgae biomass for valorization of table olive processing water

C. G. Contreras
Instituto de la Grasa (C.S.I.C.) - School of Biochemical Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Spain

A. Serrano
Instituto de la Grasa (C.S.I.C.), Spain

G. Ruiz-Filippi
School of Biochemical Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile

R. Borja
Instituto de la Grasa (C.S.I.C.), Spain

F. G. Fermoso
Instituto de la Grasa (C.S.I.C.), Spain


Table olive processing water (TOPW) contains many complex substances, such as phenols, which could be valorized as a substrate for microalgae biomass culture. The aim of this study was to assess the capability of Nannochloropsis gaditana to grow in TOPW at different concentrations (10- 80%) in order to valorize this processing water. Within this range, the highest increment of biomass was determined at percentage of 40% of TOPW, reaching an increment of 0.36 ± 0.05 mg volatile suspended solids (VSS)/L. Components of algal biomass were similar for the experiments at 10-40% of TOPW, where proteins were the major compounds (56-74%). Total phenols were retained in the microalgae biomass (0.020 ± 0.002 g of total phenols/g VSS). Experiments for 80% of TOPW resulted in a low production of microalgae biomass. High organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus and phenol removal were achieved in all TOPW concentrations. Although high-value products, such as proteins, were obtained and high removal efficiencies of nutrients were determined, microalgae biomass culture should be enhanced to become a suitable integral processing water treatment.


Microalgae biomass; Phenols; Proteins; Table olive processing water; Valorization

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