This research analyzed three green microalgae (Scenedesmus sp., Chlamydomonas sp., and Chlorella sp.) and two cyanobacteria (Synechocystis sp. as unicellular strain and Nostoc sp. as filamentous strain) native from Costa Rica to remove high concentrations of ammonium and phosphate. Cultures were exposed for 120 h to initial concentrations of 70 mgL-1 ammonium and 9 mgL-1 phosphate, under constant light intensity of 60 µmol m-2s-1. Chlorella sp. showed the highest growth rate, followed by Chlamydomonas sp. and the cyanobacteria Nostoc sp. In contrast, Scenedesmus sp. and Synechocystis sp. cultures grew less than the other ones. The highest percentage of ammonium removal was achieved with Chlorella sp. followed by Chlamydomonas sp. and Synechocystis sp., then Scenedesmus sp. and Nostoc sp. Microalgae removed totally the initial phosphate concentration within 72 h, while cyanobacteria Synechocystis sp. and Nostoc sp. removed phosphate partially. These microorganisms are promising for wastewater reclamation.
Keywords: Microalgae, Cyanobacteria, Ammonium, Phosphorus, Growth, Productivity, Wastewater.