Research Opportunities

The Use of Microalgae to treat various types of wastewater

Above: Sarah and Cole adding algae inoculum to primary wastewater at the Webster WWTP.

During the last 3 years my lab has been researching the use of various microalgae to treat wastewater and the potential use of the algae biomass for energy production or other potential markets. My research lab has moved from small scale laboratory experiments demonstrating the significant reduction in ammonia, nitrate, phosphate, and coliforms in municipal wastewater to larger scale experiments both in the lab and outdoors. Last summer we treated primary effluent at the Webster,NY WWTP at 1000 gallon scale and showed the significant reduction of various nutrients and pathogens, this project moved into the fall and again positive results were seen. Over the winter my group studied the reduction of BOD in food processing wastewater using our microalgae system with an indoor, 100 gallon tank. Significant BOD reduction (over 75%) was seen with wastewater from Bakewise of Macedon, NY (produces bagels). The reduction in BOD could lead to solutions for Bakewise that includes a significant surcharge for Monroe County to treat their wastewater. This summer we are again in the field at the Ontario County Landfill in Stanley,NY. We are running two-100 gallon tanks of algae to treat the landfill’s leachate (runoff from the landfill) on site to try and develop a solution for transportation costs of the leachate to waste treatment plants. We are studying the use of the algae biomass to produce either biodiesel fuel, biogas (methane) or its use as a fertilizer for agriculture. Recently we have received funding to take our algae treatment system to Carrefour, Haiti to treat wastewater to alleviate many problems related to freshwater issues.

Professor: Dr. Jeffrey Lodge

Above: Tom, Cole, and Alex after constructing and setting up two 100 gallon algae tanks to treat landfill leachate at the Ontario County Landfill.

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