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Clean Water with Algae

November 16, 2018

“The initial impetus was a DOE project involving many labs here in the department of biochemistry,” said James Allen, Senior Research Associate at the University of Nebraska’s Beadle Center. “The idea of it was to utilize things like algae to produce bio-oils or second generation bio-fuels.”

But along the way, researchers discovered algae has the ability to remove nitrates from water. “We can deploy algae in a bioreactor-based system, so that it’s hooked up with well water, it can pull the nitrates out of the well water and generate clean water,” Chair of the University of Nebraska Department of Biochemistry Paul Black said. “As we get into cities the size of Lincoln or Hastings, you may need 10 of the reactors. But they may not be 10,000 liters, they may be 100,000 liters. So, we are trying to figure out how to compress these into a smaller space,” Dr. Black said.

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