Award will fund research into microalgal treatment of wastewater

Single-cell algae with lipid droplets.

Aqua Enviro has secured funding for a project to investigate beneficial use of algae grown as part of a wastewater tertiary treatment process.

As part of an Innovate UK grant titled “Commercial use of biomass generated by microalgal treatment of wastewater”, Industrial Phycology (I-Phyc) has commissioned Aqua Enviro to carry out market research in the wastewater and biomass sectors.

Aqua Enviro will carry out the market research to assess the viability and economics of recycling algae generated from wastewater treatment by the I-Phyc patented algae reactor.

In the domestic wastewater market, I-Phyc have been developing an algae reactor to remove phosphorus from wastewater as an alternative to metal ion dosing (commonly ferric sulphate) which is the method of choice currently within the UK water companies. The reactor is initially targeted at small wastewater treatment works with a domestic population of less than 1000.

The algae reactor has also been successfully used for treatment of domestic wastewaters and wastewaters from fruit juice, tin mining and dairy farming.
The objective of this project is to identify possible markets for algal biomass produced from the treatment of different wastewaters.

Aqua Enviro will aim to investigate the following uses for the algal biomass:

• Anaerobic digester feed
• Fertilisers
• Pigments
• Biofuels and Biolubricants
• Animal & fish feed & Omega 3 oils
• Plastics & Foams for commercial products
• Bioresins.

Lucie Novoveska, Chief Scientist at I-Phyc said “This is a great opportunity to move towards chemical free wastewater treatment and with the potential to produce a valuable by-product allowing us to approach a more environmentally friendly method of removing phosphorus from wastewater.”