Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Algae advances as a 'green' alternative for improving water quality

Date:
May 9, 2010
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Algae -- already being eyed for biofuel production -- could be put to use right away to remove nitrogen and phosphorus in livestock manure runoff, according to an agricultural scientist.

According to ARS research, algae could be used to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from livestock manure-and then dried and sold as a slow release fertilizer.
Credit: Photo copyright Edwin Remsburg. Used by permission

Algae -- already being eyed for biofuel production -- could be put to use right away to remove nitrogen and phosphorus in livestock manure runoff, according to an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist. That could give resource managers a new eco-friendly option for reducing the level of agricultural pollutants that contaminate water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.

Related Articles


Microbiologist Walter Mulbry works at the ARS Environmental Management and Byproduct Utilization Research Unit in Beltsville, Md., which is located in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. In 2003, Mulbry set up four algal turf scrubber (ATS) raceways outside dairy barns in Beltsville. The shallow 100-foot raceways were covered with nylon netting that created a scaffold where the algae could grow.

For the next three years, from April until December, a submerged water pump at one end of the raceways circulated a mix of fresh water and raw or anaerobically digested dairy manure effluent over the algae. Within two to three weeks after the ATS system was started up every spring, the raceways supported thriving colonies of green filamentous algae.

Algae productivity was highest in the spring and declined during the summer, in part because of higher water temperatures and also because the raceways provided snails and midge larvae ample opportunity to graze on the algae.

Mulbry and his partners harvested wet algae every four to 12 days, dried it, and then analyzed the dried biomass for nitrogen and phosphorus levels. His results indicate that the ATS system recovered 60 to 90 percent of the nitrogen and 70 to 100 percent of the phosphorus from the manure effluents. They also calculated that the cost for this capture was comparable to other manure management practices--around $5 to $6 for each pound of nitrogen that was recovered and around $25 for each pound of phosphorus that was recovered.

Results from this research were published in Bioresource Technology.

Read more about this research in the May/June 2010 issue of Agricultural Research magazine, available online at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/may10/algae0510.htm.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Ann Perry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. W Mulbry, S Kondrad, C Pizarro, E Kebedewesthead. Treatment of dairy manure effluent using freshwater algae: Algal productivity and recovery of manure nutrients using pilot-scale algal turf scrubbers. Bioresource Technology, 2008; 99 (17): 8137 DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2008.03.073

Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Algae advances as a 'green' alternative for improving water quality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100507111829.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2010, May 9). Algae advances as a 'green' alternative for improving water quality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100507111829.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Algae advances as a 'green' alternative for improving water quality." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100507111829.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins