Navigation Links
Algal turf scrubbers clean water with sunlight
Date:5/31/2011

An article published in the June issue of BioScience describes the early scale-up stage of a new biotechnology with environmental benefits and possible commercial potential. Algal turf scrubbers are field-sized, water-treatment systems that can extract excess nutrients from streams, canals, and lakes polluted by agricultural, domestic, and some industrial runoff. They use sunlight as their principal source of energy and simultaneously restore oxygen levels. The devices work by pulsing contaminated water across algae that are allowed to grow on screens. Algal turf scrubbers produce waste suitable for use as a nitrogen- and phosphorus-rich fertilizer and for conversion to biofuel or high-value nutraceuticals. Some algal turf scrubbers can even operate in open water, thus minimizing loss of agricultural land to the systems.

The BioScience article, by Walter H. Adey of the Smithsonian Institution, Patrick C. Kangas of the University of Maryland, and Walter Mulbry of the US Department of Agriculture, notes that the need to clean wastewater and various types of runoff contaminated with nitrogen and phosphorus is immediate in many places where natural waters are polluted. Furthermore, some ecologists are worried about global supplies of phosphorus for use in fertilizer, so the byproduct could become more valuable over time.

The article stresses that algal turf scrubbing is not likely to ever be profitable just as a way of making fuel. Although more productive than terrestrial crops, algae, like other potential sources of biofuel, are expensive to cultivate, harvest, process, and convert into useful amounts of energy. But algal turf scrubbing could become common if the economic value of nutrient removal can be applied to the cost of building and running the units. That might depend on public policy that imposes a predictable cost on pollution of natural waters. But the fuel, fertilizer, and nutraceutical byproducts from algal turf scrubbing can only help.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tim Beardsley
tbeardsley@aibs.org
202-628-1500
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Algal antifreeze makes inroads into ice
2. First harmful algal bloom species genome sequenced
3. Brown tide culprit sequenced: Genome of the first of algal bloom species
4. Forecast system to warn of toxic algal outbreaks along Texas shoreline
5. Battling harmful algal blooms
6. New research to improve management of harmful algal blooms in Puget Sound
7. New research aims to unravel how phosphorus pollution drives toxic algal blooms in the Great Lakes
8. Genome signatures enable tracking of algal complexity
9. DOE awards UC San Diego consortium $9 million for algal biofuels research
10. Ben-Gurion U researchers isolate microalgal strain that could reduce cholesterol
11. Is iron from soil a factor in algal blooms?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/13/2017)... 13, 2017 According to a new market research ... Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and ... is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD ... 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... DUBLIN , Apr. 11, 2017 Research ... Tracking Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at ... The report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based ... report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... MELBOURNE, Florida , April 11, 2017 ... "Company"), a security technology company, announces the appointment of independent ... John Bendheim to its Board of Directors, furthering the ... ... behalf of NXT-ID, we look forward to their guidance and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... PA (PRWEB) , ... April 18, 2017 , ... ... to Halo Labs . The move comes after the company changed focus ... new market, our new brand and our new technology,” says CEO Robert Hart. ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... April 19, 2017 ... ... to combat Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections through education and advocacy. Founded ... her life to a C. diff infection, the foundation has become the most-consulted ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017  As a ... Abuse and Heroin Summit ,  Proove® Biosciences, Inc. ... analyzing genetics, environmental, and lifestyle factors to accurately ... the University of Southern California (USC), the Interventional ... and Proove publish results showing that Proove Opioid ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... 19, 2017   Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc ... Procalcitonin MOnitoring SEpsis (MOSES) Study have been published ... Critical Care Medicine . Researchers from the study, ... Patients: Results From the Multicenter Procalcitonin MOnitoring SEpsis ... PCT (procalcitonin) assay to assess risk for 28 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: