Project Acronym: ABSWAT

Project Summary


Most treatment technologies that are applied in Palestine produce effluent that still has concentrations of nutrients. This may lead to over-fertilization and groundwater pollution. Therefore, this research project investigated the application of algal systems for wastewater treatment and especially for nutrients removal and recovery were investigated. Recently it has been shown that algal-bacterial biomass in a so-called 'photo-activated sludge system', is able to efficiently remove nitrogen with minimal energy costs and simultaneously produce biomass as a by-product. The outputs of such a system could be used in agriculture along with the utilization of the produced biomass for fertilization and biogas production (see Figure 1). This will significantly strengthen the agricultural sector which is considered one of the pillars of the Palestinian economy. This project introduced an algae-based treatment system to remove nutrients from wastewater as the main goal and later to convert them into a product (fertilizer) that can be used for agricultural purposes. The proposed system also reduces greenhouse gas emissions along with the removal of nutrients. 

                                                                                     

Figure 1. Holistic approach to wastewater treatment based on anaerobic pre-treatment and further treatment in an algal-bacterial photo-activated sludge system (SBPR – Sequencing Batch Photo Bioreactor)

Research Objectives


The research objectives were:

  1. To determine the nutrient removal efficiency of the photo-activated sludge system per area requirement, sunlight input and energy consumption
  2. To determine how different operational parameters (hydraulic retention time, pond depth, biomass concentration) affect nutrient removal efficiency and biomass production
  3. To determine the feasibility of the produced algal-bacterial biomass as fertilizer

Project Team


Name                                       : Tahseen Sayara

University                                 : Palestine Technical University Kadoorie (PTUK)

Email                                        : tsayara@yahoo.com

Name                                        : Saed Khayat

University                                  : Palestine Technical University Kadoorie (PTUK)

Email                                         :  saed.khayat@gmail.com

Name                                        : Peter van der Steen

University                                  : IHE-Delft

Email                                         : p.vandersteen@un-ihe.org

Research Deliverables and Outcomes: 

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Research Photos: 

Research Category: 

Small Research Project (SRP)

Research Summary : 

Most treatment technologies that are applied in Palestine produce effluent that still has concentrations of nutrients. This may lead to over-fertilization and groundwater pollution. Therefore, this research project investigated the application of algal systems for wastewater treatment and especially for nutrients removal and recovery were investigated. Recently it has been shown that algal-bacterial biomass in a so-called 'photo-activated sludge system', is able to efficiently remove nitrogen with minimal energy costs and simultaneously produce biomass as a by-product. The outputs of such a system could be used in agriculture along with the utilization of the produced biomass for fertilization and biogas production (see Figure 1). This will significantly strengthen the agricultural sector which is considered one of the pillars of the Palestinian economy. This project introduced an algae-based treatment system to remove nutrients from wastewater as the main goal and later to convert them into a product (fertilizer) that can be used for agricultural purposes. The proposed system will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions along with the removal of nutrients.