Navigation Links
Fresh Water Algae Filtered Out With Water Filtration Technique

Ohio State University study has found that a water filtration technique which is used to clean up agricultural chemicals is proving beneficial in removing a toxin //produced by an algae found in lakes and rivers. Engineers are extremely happy with this technique, far more efficient than any other method, with a 95% success rate of removal of the toxins.

Some water filtration plants around the country already use the technique, which couples activated carbon with membrane filters, said Hal Walker, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and geodetic science at Ohio State.

Microcystis is native to freshwater lakes and rivers around the country, and secretes toxins that can cause liver damage in animals including humans. Worsening environmental pollution in Lake Erie during the last decade has caused algal blooms, the most recent of which began this August.

Some 13 million people rely on Lake Erie for their water supply, so Microcystis is a growing concern there, Walker said. But dangerous algal blooms have occurred across the country this summer, from Massachusetts to California.

And while many water filtration plants are beginning to use high-tech ultra filtration membranes with very fine holes to filter water, Microcystin toxins are small enough to slip through. For example, the toxin used in this study was microcystin-lr, a tiny molecule made up of only seven amino acids.

The study will appear in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, and has been published in advance on the journal's Web site.

Rather than invent a new technology for filtering microcystin-lr, Walker and his colleagues decided to test whether combining activated carbon with membrane filters would do the trick. That technology has already proven effective for removing herbicides and pesticides from drinking water.

"This toxin is an organic molecule, and we knew that activated carbon is goo d at removing organics," Walker said, "so we coupled the carbon with membranes. Together, they provide a way for water treatment plants to remove the toxin by basically upgrading the membrane system they already have."

"Microcystis secretes a whole range of toxins, and we only looked at the one we thought would be the most important for health reasons. Then there's a whole host of other toxic algae that secrete their own toxins. I suspect this technology would be pretty effective for all these toxins."

Water treatment plants that already had membranes in place could add carbon to their systems without purchasing new equipment, he added.

Activated carbon is a highly porous form of charcoal that sticks to organic molecules. It's often used to filter water and clean up environmental spills, and it's even administered to poison victims to clean toxins from the digestive tract.

The engineers combined the active carbon with three different commercially available membrane filters to remove microcystin-lr from samples of Lake Erie drinking water. Each combination produced good results: one removed 95 percent of the toxin, one removed 97 percent, and the other removed 99 percent. Without the carbon, even the most effective ultrafiltration membrane removed only 78 percent of the toxin.

This is the first time this technique has been used to remove an algal toxin, and Walker cautioned that more research needs to be done before commercial water treatment plants could adopt it wholesale.

"Microcystis secretes a whole range of toxins, and we only looked at the one we thought would be the most important for health reasons," he said. "Then there's a whole host of other toxic algae that secrete their own toxins. And we don't know if there are synergistic effects between the toxins. Still, I suspect this technology would be pretty effective for all these toxins."

He would like to start a pilot project with a water treatment plant that uses membrane filters, ideally to test the system during an algal bloom.

This work was funded by the Ohio Sea Grant. PICA USA, Inc., of Columbus, OH, provided the powdered activated carbon.

Source : Eureka Alert


Related medicine news :

1. Fresh approach to TB treatment
2. Fresh warnings to doctors regarding abortion pill
3. Fresh Cases of Bird-Flu Prepares the Ground for More Chicken Martyrs
4. Fresh Bird Flu Cases Spotted In Southern Russia
5. Pakistan Scared By Fresh Bird Flu Case
6. Fresh Polio Cases Reported In Uttar Pradesh
7. Nothing Can Equate Fresh Vegetables and Fruits
8. Fresh Outbreak Of Bird Flu In Nigeria
9. Foreign Fresher Students Offered Scholarship By Fudan
10. Fresh bird flu vaccines made in China
11. Freshness Dating? Researchers Express Doubts
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... Avid collector, Andrew Hawley from Vintage Rock Posters, announces ... This is one of Joplin's most famous and beautiful concert posters. The concert was ... in Ann Arbor. The According to Hawley, "It is hard to believe that Joplin's ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think Thanksgiving, they ... to buy during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair sales ... the Internet high and low to find the best massage chair deals, they can ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... The Catalent Applied Drug Delivery Institute ... integrate dose form selection in early phase drug development. The first of these ... bringing together the UK’s emerging life sciences companies, corporate partners, and investors, at ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... second medical opinion process, participated in the 61st annual Employee Benefits Conference. The ... and took place Sunday, November 8th through Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. The conference ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the world-class Asterisk ... system efficiency and reliability. , The new Q-Suite 6 platform is based on the ... locking itself into a specific piece of software for many key components of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Un nuevo enfoque combina la ... cáncer avanzado.   --> Un nuevo ... Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado.   --> ... la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado. ... --> Clinical Cancer Research . --> ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... aanpak combineert immunotherapie met Bremachlorin-photodynamische therapie voor ... ) --> ... ) Uit ... Centrum (LUMC) blijkt ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... FRANCISCO , November 26, 2015 ... billion by 2022, according to a new report by Grand ... Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) which demands kidney transplantation is expected ... and cost effective substitute for organ transplantation. --> ... billion by 2022, according to a new report by Grand ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: