Landfilling of municipal waste, an environmental challenge worldwide, results in the continuous formation of significant amounts of leachate, which poses a severe contamination threat to ground and surface water resources. Landfill leachate (LL) is generated by rainwater percolating through disposed waste materials and must be treated effectively before safe discharge into the environment. LL contains numerous pollutants and toxic substances, such as dissolved organic matter, inorganic chemicals, heavy metals, and anthropogenic organic compounds. Currently, LL treatment is carried out by a combination of physical, chemical, and microbial technologies. Microalgae are now viewed as a promising sustainable addition to the repertoire of technologies for treating LL. Photosynthetic algae have been shown to grow in LL under laboratory conditions, while some species have also been employed in larger-scale LL treatments. Treating leachate with algae can contribute to sustainable waste management at existing landfills by remediating low-quality water for recycling and reuse and generating large amounts of algal biomass for cost-effective manufacturing of biofuels and bioproducts. In this review, we will examine LL composition, traditional leachate treatment technologies, LL toxicity to algae, and the potential of employing algae at LL treatment facilities. Emphasis is placed on how algae can be integrated with existing technologies for biological treatment of LL, turning leachate from an environmental liability to an asset that can produce value-added biofuels and bioproducts for the bioeconomy.
Authors: Dogaris I, Ammar E, Phillippidis GP
; Full Source: World journal of microbiology & biotechnology. 2020 Feb 24;36(3):39. doi: 10.1007/s11274-020-2810-y.