ALGEBRA: Innovative waste bioremediation practice for the removal of toxic compounds withuse of microalgae in the context of a circular economy

Some microalgae species have the ability to absorb toxic compounds from the aquatic environment in which they grow, thus contributing to its remediation. At the same time, they can be used in the production of biofuels, but also as supplements in nutrition, in cosmetics/medicines, as long as the desired components are extracted. In this project, research is conducted exploring the possibility of removing heavy metals from wastewater and/or natural/surface waters, in the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, through their bioremediation with the cultivation/use of microalgae, aiming at their purification and the sustainable management and protection of the inland and marine waters in which they end up. The analysis of the data (e.g. pH, CO2, O2 etc.) using machine learning technology will contribute towards the creation of an “intelligent” culture with the ultimate goal of predicting the cell growth of microalgae. The proposed practice could contribute to the strengthening of the “circular economy” through the utilization of the produced biomass in various applications.

In this project, various approaches/innovations will be combined in order to acquire know-how and establish cultivation protocols of Spirulina and Chlorella for optimal absorption of heavy metals (e.g. Cu, Ni, Pb, Cd, Zn) from the aquatic environment in which they are developed.