Modeling Nutrient Uptake Process and Growth Kinetics of Duckweed Spirodela punctata 7776 for Nutrient Recovery from Swine Wastewater

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Title: Modeling Nutrient Uptake Process and Growth Kinetics of Duckweed Spirodela punctata 7776 for Nutrient Recovery from Swine Wastewater
Author: Chaiprapat, Sumate
Advisors: Dr. Sarah Liehr, Committee Member
Dr. Jiayang Cheng, Committee Co-Chair
Dr. John Classen, Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Joel Ducoste, Committee Member
Abstract: Use of plants for swine waste management involves the removal of nutrients from the swine wastewater by the plants and the utilization of the plant biomass for other useful purposes such as feed supplement and soil amendment. Duckweed has gained much interest for this purpose in the past decades because of its high growth rate and high protein content. The goal of this research was to study the characteristics of duckweed growth and nutrient uptake from swine wastewater in order to improve the efficiency of duckweed nutrient recovery. In the first part of this research, nutrient distribution and transport in a quiescent duckweed-covered pond containing swine lagoon liquid were investigated and described mathematically. A superior duckweed strain for total protein production in swine wastewater Spirodela punctata 7776 was used as a subject of the study. Diffusive transport of ammonium was shown to be a limiting process in nitrogen removal by duckweed plants in static ponds. In addition, a pH profile developed along the depth of the pond, creating an additional barrier to ammonia volatilization from the pond covered with a duckweed mat. In the second part of the research, growth and nutrient uptake characteristics of Spirodela punctata 7776 in artificial swine medium were examined in sterile batch cultures. Growth of Spirodela punctata 7776 corresponded to the amount of nitrogen storage in its biomass rather than the nutrient concentration in the growth medium. The relationship followed Monod-like kinetics with a maximum specific growth rate of 0.2381 g/g/d. Reduction in the specific growth rate of Spirodela punctata 7776 was observed in the culture with higher crop density, which signified the adverse effects of surface crowding. A mathematical expression to represent the effects of crop density (mass per unit area) on specific growth rate was developed, which can be used in optimization of crop density management in duckweed nutrient recovery systems.
Date: 2002-12-03
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Biological and Agricultural Engineering

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