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Algal Scrubbers to Abate Harbor Pollution

April 27th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in Algae, Algae-Wastewater-Treatment

Algal scrubbers may save Baltimore’s polluted harbor! US-based ecological restoration firm Biohabitats has set up an algal scrubber at the Fells Point in Baltimore harbor. The gutter, 350 feet long by one foot wide, uses native algae to strip nutrients, suspended sediment and carbon from water and inject oxygen into it before returning it to the harbor. The algae feed on the nutrients in the water pumped down the channel.

Researchers at the Algal Ecotechnology Center at the University of Maryland, under the leadership of the center’s director Peter Kangas, have also been working on algae scrubbers and they are now testing the scrubbers in the Susquehanna River, on the Eastern Shore and in Virginia. In a previous effort the scrubber developed by Kangas and his team was found to remove 640 pounds of nitrogen and 90 pounds of phosphorus from the water. kangas wants to scale up this pilot project soon to something large enough to have real impact on water quality.

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