Autodesk Water
Connecting Waterpeople
Autodesk Water Webinar Series - April 30th, 10h (UTC+1)

Study illuminates more efficient phosphorus-consuming algae for wastewater treatment

  • Study illuminates more efficient phosphorus-consuming algae for wastewater treatment
    A Revolving Algal Biofilm system by Gross-Wen Technologies at the Terrence J. O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant in Skokie, IL. Photos courtesy of Gross-Wen Technologies.

About the entity

U.S Department of Energy
The mission of the Energy Department is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.

Phosphorus in wastewater is a major contributor to harmful algal blooms in water bodies around the globe, with the potential to harm wildlife, livestock, and even humans. Wastewater treatment plants often rely on chemical- and energy-intensive techniques to remove phosphorus before it can travel downstream.

In research supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), a team of scientists from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Gross-Wen Technologies, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago examined the unique properties of phosphorus uptake in the algal strains living in the Revolving Algal Biofilm (RAB) systems.

The RAB system by Gross-Wen Technologies is an emerging technology that leverages the natural ability of algae to harness solar energy to efficiently accumulate and remove phosphorus from water. The grown algal biomass can then be harvested from the belt and dried for use as agricultural fertilizer or as feedstock for the manufacture of biofuels and bioproducts.

In the new study published in the Frontiers in Microbiology journal, the researchers discovered that specific algal species outperform the broader population of algae in the system. These findings may offer insight to improve RAB performance while enhancing revenue streams for crop fertilizers or bioenergy feedstocks.

Learn more about this BETO-funded research and its potential implications for recovering harmful or valuable metals from wastewater.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Topics of interest

The data provided will be treated by iAgua Conocimiento, SL for the purpose of sending emails with updated information and occasionally on products and / or services of interest. For this we need you to check the following box to grant your consent. Remember that at any time you can exercise your rights of access, rectification and elimination of this data. You can consult all the additional and detailed information about Data Protection.

Featured news