Exploitation of algal-bacterial consortia in combined biohydrogen generation and wastewater treatment

Prateek Shetty, Iulian Z. Boboescu, Bernadett Pap, Roland Wirth, Kornél L. Kovács, Tibor Bíró, Zoltán Futó, Richard Allen White, Gergely Maróti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Microalgae cultivation in municipal, industrial, and agricultural wastewater is an emerging, highly effective approach for resource recovery and concomitant bioenergy generation. Wastewater effluents represent ideal sources of nutrients (especially nitrogen and phosphorous) for eukaryotic green algal species. However, the recovery performance of photosynthetic green algae is strongly dependent on the associated bacterial partners present in the effluents. Algal microbiome is a pivotal part of the algae holobiont and has a key role in modulating algal growth and functions in nature. There has been no comprehensive study on the importance of microbial communities supporting the algal hosts for the bulk of the time wastewater treatment methods have been in use. Our proposed approach applies a green microalgae-based photoheterotrophic degradation using dark fermentation effluent as substrate. The results showed that condition-dependent mutualistic relationships between the microbial and Chlorella algae populations had direct impact on the biodegradation efficiency and also on algal biohydrogen production. The genome level analysis of the novel hybrid biodegradation system provided important clues for the primary importance of the green algae partner in nitrogen and phosphorous removal. With further development and optimization this new approach can lead to a highly efficient simultaneous organic waste mitigation and renewable energy production technology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number52
JournalFrontiers in Energy Research
Issue numberJUN
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Biohydrogen
  • Green algae
  • Metagenomics
  • Photoheterotrophic degradation
  • Wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Economics and Econometrics

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  • Cite this

    Shetty, P., Boboescu, I. Z., Pap, B., Wirth, R., Kovács, K. L., Bíró, T., Futó, Z., White, R. A., & Maróti, G. (2019). Exploitation of algal-bacterial consortia in combined biohydrogen generation and wastewater treatment. Frontiers in Energy Research, 7(JUN), [52]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenrg.2019.00052