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Comment Processing & Handling

Using algae to clean wastewater

By Scott Jenkins |

Technology developed by Algal Scientific Corp. (Northville, Mich.; www.algalscientific.com) uses algae to remove soluble organics, nitrogen and phosphorous from medium- to high-strength wastewaters in a single step. The technology is an alternative to multistep treatment processes involving the use of bacteria and chemical treatment.

The company’s Hypertrophic Water Treatment Process essentially creates a controlled algal bloom in compact growth troughs. The specially selected and adapted algae species lowers BOD (biological oxygen demand) and nutrients from wastewater to allow the water to meet regulatory requirements or to reduce wastewater surcharges.

Because the algae treats organics and nutrients simultaneously, denitrification and phosphorous-removal process steps are eliminated and capital and operating costs are thus lowered. Also, the algal treatment process results in byproduct biomass, which can be used as fertilizer or burned for boiler heat, says Geoff Horst, Algal Scientific CEO.

Along with developing the algae species and adapting it to the process environment, the company has developed patented protocols for growing and harvesting the algae that minimize the physical footprint of the process. Algal Scientific is now offering licenses for its wastewater treatment technology.

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