Open pond cultures of indigenous algae grown on non-arable land in an arid desert using wastewater


1 Jacobs-University Bremen, School of Engineering and Science, Campus Ring 1, 28759 Bremen, Germany

2 University of Applied Sciences Bremen, Am Neustadtswall 30, 28199 Bremen, Germany


The algae production on non-arable land in the al-Wusta region of the Sultanate of Oman was evaluated. Pre-cleaned production water (pPW) from the oil production was enriched with nutrients and used as growth medium. The indigenous isolate Scenedesmus sp. MKB was grown in open ponds under semi-continuous conditions. A productivity of 16.1 g/m2/day in 2013 and 15.4 g/m2/day in 2014 was reached during four different experiments during March and April of 2013 and 2014. Thereby, no influences of light intensity (maximum daily values in between 2400 and 3050 µmol photons/m2/s) or temperature (maximum daily temperatures were between 29.9 and 41.9 °C) on productivity were observed (correlation coefficient below ±0.5). Weed algae, mainly Cyanobacteria and diatoms were detected microscopically in all cultures by the first to seventh day of growth. The increase in weed algae had a negative influence on the maximum photosynthetic efficiency (Y). Y decreased after a weed algae concentration of ca. 2 % (cell/cell) was reached.