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Aerated Lagoons Are Potential Sources of Biofuel

Wastewater treatment lagoons have the potential to serve as a local energy source, according to a Clarkson University doctoral student.

Stefanie Kring, an environmental science and engineering Ph.D. student, has discovered the potential biofuel content of microbes that live in local waste water treatment aerated lagoons. Kring regularly visited the Canton, N.Y., wastewater treatment aerated lagoons during a summer research project.

She found the sunlit 8.5 acre lagoons full of planktonic (free-floating) organisms. “These were the same types of organisms that we would normally see in any lake, river or pond nearby, except that here the biomass was much, much higher,” said Biology Professor Michael Twiss, who served as Kring’s doctoral thesis supervisor.

Although the biofuel amount from these aerated lagoons is relatively small, these systems are found across the landscapes in New York and elsewhere in the nation. “At present, these lagoons are designed solely for wastewater treatment, but if the design could be modified to also serve the purpose of greater biofuel production then we may have found a productive path to satisfying some local needs for useful energy such as biodiesel,” said Professor Susan Powers, the Spence Professor in Sustainable Environmental Systems at Clarkson University and co-investigator in this project.

Source:  http://dailyfusion.net/2014/01/study-aerated-lagoons-are-potential-sources-of-biofuel-26282/

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