Full-scale photobioreactor for biotreatment of olive washing water: Structure and diversity of the microalgae-bacteria consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


  • P. Maza-Márquez
  • A. González-Martínez
  • B. Rodelas
  • Jesús González-López

Research units

  • University of Granada


The performance of a full-scale photobioreactor (PBR) for the treatment of olive washing water (OWW) was evaluated under different HRTs (5–2 days). The system was able to treat up to 3926 L OWW day−1, and consisted of an activated-carbon pretreatment column and a tubular PBR unit (80 tubes, 98.17 L volume, 2-m height, 0.25 m diameter). PBR was an effective and environmentally friendly method for the removal of phenols, COD, BOD5, turbidity and color from OWW (average efficiencies 94.84 ± 0.55%, 85.86 ± 1.24%, 99.12 ± 0.17%, 95.86 ± 0.98% and 87.24 ± 0.91%, respectively). The diversity of total bacteria and microalgae in the PBR was analyzed using Illumina-sequencing, evaluating the efficiency of two DNA extraction methods. A stable microalgae-bacteria consortium was developed throughout the whole experimentation period, regardless of changes in HRT, temperature or solar radiation. MDS analyses revealed that the interplay between green algae (Sphaeropleales), cyanobacteria (Hapalosiphon) and Proteobacteria (Rhodopseudomonas, Azotobacter) played important roles in OWW bioremediation.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-398
Number of pages10
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Full-scale photobioreactor (PBR), Illumina-sequencing, Microalgae-bacteria consortium, Non-metric multidimensional scaling (MDS), Olive washing water (OWW)

ID: 12977287