"It's key to what we're doing here," Lodge says. "Algae will take out all the ammonia99 percent88 percent of the nitrate and 99 percent of the phosphate from the wastewater all those nutrients you worry about dumping into the receiving water. In three to five days, pathogens are gone. We've got data to show that the coliform counts are dramatically reduced below the level that's allowed to go out into Lake Ontario."
Lodge and Lannan ramped up their algae production from 30 gallons of wastewater in a lab at RIT to 100 gallons in a 4-foot-by-7-foot long tank at Environmental Energy Technologies, an RIT spinoff. Lannan's graduate thesis advisor Ali Ogut, professor of mechanical engineering, is the company's president and CTO. In the spring, the researchers will build a mobile greenhouse at the Irondequoit wastewater treatment plant and scale up production to as much as 1,000 gallons of wastewater.
Northern Biodiesel, located in Wayne County, will purify the lipids from the algae and convert them into biodiesel for the RIT researchers.
|Contact: Susan Gawlowicz|
Rochester Institute of Technology