Date of Award

Fall 12-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Civil Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Enrique La Motta

Second Advisor

Guillermo Rincon

Third Advisor

Bhaskar Kura


Research was conducted using algal biomass obtained from the surface of a secondary clarifier at Bridge City Wastewater Treatment Plant and subsequently sent through an electrochemical (EC) batch reactor at various concentrations. The first objective was to achieve maximum cell wall destruction electrochemically using the EC batch reactor and determine the optimal detention time and voltage/current relationship at which this occurred. The second objective was to subject two algal mediums to anaerobic digestion: the algal medium without electrochemical disinfection and the algal medium after disinfection. Every three days, for 12 days, total solids were measured from each apparatus to determine if cell destruction increased, decreased or did not change the consumption rate of algae by anaerobic bacteria. The consumption rate of algae is directly proportional to the production of methane, which can be used as a source of biofuel.


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