Evaluation of Growth and Biomass Productivity of Marine Microalga Nannochloropsis sp. Cultured in Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME)

Hadiyanto Hadiyanto*, Danny Soetrinanto, Silviana Silviana,
Muhamad Zaini Mahdi, and Yasinta Nikita Titisari

Department of Chemical Engineering, Diponegoro University,
Jl. Prof. Soedarto, SH-Tembalang, Semarang 50275 Indonesia

*Corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the growth and productivity of marine algae Nannochloropsis sp. cultured in palm oil mill effluent (POME) medium. The POME was varied in concentration of 10%, 30%, and 50% (vol POME/vol water) while the comparison with fresh and saline medium was also investigated. The relative performance of the different concentrations of fresh POME were investigated with respect to their productivity, specific growth rate and biomass production. Nannochloropsis sp. cultured in 30% (v/v) fresh POME had significantly (p<0.05) higher growth rate (0.31 ± 0.06) d–1 and productivity (0.034 ± 0.01) g ∙ L–1 d–1) as compared to fresh medium and other treatments (10% and 50% v/v). These results indicated the potential of microalga Nannochloropsis sp. for biomass production and POME nutrients removals. Further research on optimizing biomass productivity and nutrients removal in POME medium should be done prior to its scale up for industrial application.


In the last decade, Indonesia has produced and exported about 45% world’s palm oil. However, this large production has eventually caused detrimental effects on the environmental due to palm oil mill effluent (POME) produced during processing and untreated discharge into water bodies. It was estimated that 5 tonnes of water was required to process the palm fruit bunches (PFB) in order to yield 1 tonnes of crude palm oil (Ahmad et al. 2003). Besides containing high chemical oxygen demand (COD), and biological oxygen demands (BOD), fresh POME also contains organic compounds such as carbohydrate, protein, ammonium (as N sources), and phosphate (Singh et al. 2010, Kumar et al. 2011). These organic matters can be potentially utilized as nutrient sources for photosynthetic plants, especially for microalgae (Markou et al 2011, Hadiyanto et al. 2013). . . . read more


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