Green Water Solution

Solutions To Prevent Algae Blooms

Phosphorus - Giving Life

All living organisms require phosphorus. Higher phosphorus availability through fertilizer, more than 80% of today's worldwide phosphorus use, increases agricultural crops. Phosphate fertilizer remains essential to feed the world in the future.

While demand for phosphate continues to grow, phosphate rock is a limited and non-renewable resource - projected to become exhausted by the end of this century.

Too Much Phosphorus - When Too Much Life Harms

Downstream of its use, phosphorus ends up in waste water and agricultural runoff. If untreated, the excess in phosphorus spurs massive algae growth, leading to green to brownish, slimy, and smelly waters - so called «algae blooms.»

Phosphorus pollution causes harmful algae blooms with
severe ecological and economic damage.

Harmful Algae Blooms

Algae blooms cause ecological harm. They can lead to fish kills. Seagrass, an important nursery for many marine life, dies off in coastal zones as light cannot reach the bottom anymore, with far reaching consequences for the ecosystem.

Many algae blooms produce toxins that can harm livestock, dogs, and humans when in contact with the waters. These algal toxins become increasingly a problem for drinking water operations where drinking water is sourced from surface waters.

Economic damage goes into the billions of dollars in fisheries, recreational, and tourism industries.

The cyanobacteria, or "blue-green algae," Microcystis (center) and Anabaena (chains of cells on left and right) are often the culprits of freshwater algae blooms, such as in Lake Erie and along the Florida east coast in 2016.

Phosphorus Limitation

Scientific consensus arose over the last decades that phosphorus concentrations below 10 g/L (or 10 ppb) prevent microbial growth, including that of algae. Therefore, restricting inflows into rivers, ponds, and lakes from canals or agricultural runoff to less than 10 ppb phosphorus can effectively prevent excessive algae growth that can lead to harmful algae blooms.

Consequently, the Everglades Foundation calls for innovative technology to remove phosphorus to less than 10 ppb from natural surface waters in its $10 million George Barley Water Prize.

Under such severe phosphorus limitation, it also does not matter how much other algae nutrients, such as nitrogen, is available. The lack of phosphorus will prevent any microbial growth, irrespective of nitrogen concentrations. Given the complexity of the multiple forms of nitrogen that can serce as algae nutrient, phosphorus limitation presents a much more straightforward and feasible venue for eutrophication control.

Liebig's Law of the Minimum (Justus von Liebig, 1840): The one nutrient present in the lowest concentration (relative to the algae's need) determines the growth, like the lowest plank on a barrel determines how much water the barrel will hold; it does not matter how high the other planks are.

How BioPhree® Technology Can Help

BioPhree® treatment decreases phosphorus effluent consistently below 10 ppb, in many cases below 5 ppb, irrespective of the phosphorus concentration in the incoming treatment water.

Long-term pilot test at a wastewater plant with phosphorus inflow up to 1,800 ppb showed consistently outflow of less than 5 ppb over 160 days.

About 6,000 people contract Legionnaires' Disease (Pontiac Fever) per year in the USA, of which 10% of cases are lethal, as the CDC reports. Most common sources of Legionella are cooling towers and domestic water systems (e.g., showers). Legionella lives inside of amoeba, which in turn feed on bacteria in the biofilm from biofouling inside the water systems. Field tests and targeted laboratory challenges demonstrated that BioPhree® treatment can effectively prevent Legionella growth. Learn more...

BioPhree® Economic Scalability

BioPhree® systems are economically scalable from low-volume decentralized agricultural or industrial runoff treatments to large-scale natural surface waters and pond treatments.

A one million gallons per day (156 m3/h) unit can be housed in a 10 ft (3 m) height by 10 ft (3 m) diameter tank.

Since BioPhree® phosphorus capture capacity is sized to last extended operation times and regeneration time for each unit is short, one cleaning tank will serve a multitude of adsorption vessels.

The BioPhree® Technology

A series of adsorption vessels containing the BioPhree® materials capture phosphorus from the influent water. A pretreatment such as a sand filter might be used in the case of high suspended solids. The effluent with less than 10 ppb phosphorus remains otherwise chemically and physically unchanged.

BioPhree® will capture virtually all phosphorus until the material is saturated - depending on the system size in days to weeks to months. Upon saturation, the phosphorus is washed off the material by a cleaning solution, rendering the BioPhree® material continually reusable. This regeneration process takes about two hours.

To ensure continuous operation during the regeneration, several BioPhree® units are run in parallel and continue to clean water while one unit at a time is regenerated.

The concentrated phosphorus is recaptured in an even more concentrated form from the cleaning solution by processing with ceramic nanofiltration. The cleaning solution becomes reusable in the next regeneration cycle with minimal losses. The recovered phosphorus, as a highly concentrated, clean liquid formulation, can be brought ro re-application, such as a fertilizer.

Contact Information

11924 Forest Hill Blvd 10A-106
Wellington, FL 33414; USA
Phone: (561) 507 0201
Fax: (561) 507 0201