Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Foam flotation can remove and eradicate ciliates contaminating algae culture systems

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gary Caldwell



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


We demonstrate, for the first time, the efficacy of a surfactant-aided foam flotation system to remove and eradicate ciliates contaminating microalgae cultures. Using sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) as the surfactant, ciliates removal efficiencies of up to 86.6% were achieved from pure ciliates cultures at an SDS concentration of 40 mg L-1. At this concentration the majority of ciliates were lysed due to increase in SDS concentration in the collected foamate. The removal efficiency decreased to 55.0 % in mixed algae-ciliates cultures however, this was compensated by employing a multistage flotation and SDS (50 mg L-1) reuse strategy that achieved removal efficiencies of 96.3%, lysing all collected ciliates, but not affecting microalgae growth. The chemicals cost for the process was US$ 0.0025 per m3 substantially less than comparator treatments. Building upon its applications in biomass dewatering, pre-processing and sterilising, we add metazoan contamination control to the utilitarian properties of foam flotation for the microalgae biotechnology sector.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Umar A, Caldwell GS, Lee JM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Algal Research

Year: 2018

Volume: 29

Pages: 337–342

Print publication date: 01/01/2018

Online publication date: 16/12/2017

Acceptance date: 06/12/2017

Date deposited: 06/12/2017

ISSN (print): 2211-9264

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.algal.2017.12.002


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric