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Two simple mechanisms integrate to clean the planets, air, water, land, sea and nuclear waste using a photobioreactor and anaerobic digester


Executive summary

Our planet exceeds its ability to sustain itself by 1.4 times.  We have overspent our Earth with no "Blueprint" to pay back what we owe.  Doing nothing leads to worldwide chaos. To become sustainable we must undo what we’ve done. We need a “Blueprint” to rescue our planet and all life forms and we need to protect the elements provided by nature to protect us for all to survive, thrive and evolve sustainably into perpetuity! 

Blueprint to Collaborate With Nature for a Sustainable Planet

A fair balanced tax on non-renewable imports (carbon tax), as well as domestic emitters, can provide individuals, communities, industry with low interest loans to counteract dirty non-renewables and emitters with clean renewable alternatives to mitigate, climate change and global warming, with a low carbon footprint and with a quick payback, and nothing out of pocket and after paybacks more profits into pockets for more opportunities for better more prosperous healthy sustainable futures.

Low interest loans for photovoltaic (PV), solar heating, wind power, electric vehicles (EV), CNG vehicle conversions, and other alternatives, such as Universal Photobioreactors (UPBR), Universal Renewable Energy Farms (UREF) and Anaerobic Biodigesters (AD), will provide a domino effect to replace non-renewables and emitters with clean local community alternatives.

These simple taxes motivate individuals, communities and polluters to use low interest loans to invest in clean alternatives that quickly pay back the loans with the money saved on utilities, fuel, energy saving, PV, EV, low energy devices like LED's, and renewable resources like UPBRs and UREFs, replacing expensive imports and unhealthy emissions and money saved after the payback.

On national levels, even state/provinces, there are lobbyists who are paid by polluters to use politics to convince legislators to prevent such taxes.  

At lower/local levels it may be more expedient for communities/municipalities to impose taxes on big consumers of non-renewable imports and big emitters in their district.  Strategically, this kind of tax provides an incentive for the big consumers and emitters to use these same loans to lower their carbon footprint and save on taxes thus helping the community to be more self-sustaining lowering its overall carbon footprint as well.

Countering the Threat

By now, there should be consensus that we cannot survive without clean alternatives as the demand for oil/coal/natural gas is greater by the day and unsustainable for the future, including the emissions causing climate change, global warming, and global chaos. 

"Magically"! Fair balanced low interest loans for local alternatives with quick paybacks from taxes on non-renewable imports and domestic emitters begin to balance out as the demand for non-renewables and emitters is supposed to increase, the actual use of local renewable alternatives increases displacing non-renewable demand lowering import tax revenues. Win/Win!

Interestingly, the domestic emitters that are taxed can take out the same low interest loans to lower emissions, therefore lowering their taxes and paying off loans through increased profits! Win/Win!

As tax income from imports lessen and the threshold is crossed where there are no import tax revenues, the community has become self-sustaining and likely will remain so.  With continued loan paybacks there will always be money in the bank to perpetuate more loans for even greater sustainability, prosperity, security, health, education and more....!!!

When 10% of regional communities profit  - Lowering their carbon footprint

The rest will follow!


Roy Mahoff 

Professional Pilot with ATP, founder "EcoMundo", Baja Sur Mexico, a sustainable Kayak Resort. Sustainable Design Innovator of "Universal Polycarbonate Hexagonal Photobioreactor", and "Universal Renewable Energy Farms" for the growth of microorganisms/algae for many sustainable products plus Algae Anaerobic Digestion products and mitigation of greenhouse gases, in affiliation with Atrium Design and partner Stefan Schlau.

Stefan Schlau

Principal Atrium Design Co. Ltd., Architect, Dipl.lng, AA-Dipl., RIBA, partner with Roy Mahoff on the PBR design and the UREF. 

Professor, PHD, Dr. Mark Edwards

Strategic Marketing & Sustainability - W.P. Corey School of Business - Arizona State University - Publisher, writer, "Algae Industry Magazine" - Co-Founder of the "International Algae Competition" - Author of many Publications on algae with emphasis as a food source - Collaborator with Roy Mahoff and Stefan Schlau, on the UPBR system and UREF.

Syed Isa Syed Alwi

Founder and CEO of Algaetech Group of Companies committed to providing global solutions in malnutrition and renewable energy with algae technology, and was awarded the "Frost & Sullivan" Green Excellence Award for Service Innovation in Algae Technology in August 2011 


Organic Waste is not Trash!

Waste can be recycled for a profit by communities using low interest loans to integrate Universal Photo Bio Reactors (UPBR) with Universal Renewable Energy Farms (UREF) and Anaerobic Biodigesters (AD), using sunshine and waste water to grow high energy algae to anaerobically digest with paper and other organics as added carbon source, to economically provide renewable methane (CH4) to provide efficient fuel cell electricity for internal use, to charge EV's, distribute through net metering to the grid plus CH4 for heating and CNG for vehicles, also high grade sterile organic fertilizer soil amendment.  

Landfills can be mined for organic to AD as well as other recyclables adding to community profit for quicker paybacks of loans.

Clean alternatives such as UREF's, along with AD's (further described), provide communities with free daily renewable sources of energy using recycled waste water and organics to provide clean water for fertilizer for organic foods, high grade food supplements to prevent human malnutrition, nutritious feed for animals/fowl/fish, replenishing soils and forest habitats, while providing gas for cooking, eliminating the need for wood fuel for cooking and black lung disease, providing heat, CNG for transportation, and possibly neutralizing all of the worlds nuclear waste while providing clean energy, and more....!

UREF's can be the roof of a greenhouse, over an inner city parking lot or on top of urban high-rise hotels, or on no-agricultural land, using interior space for multi-profitable functions from farmhouses, warehouses, factories, to village community centers.

Neutralizing Strontium 90 and other Nuclear Waste

In Japan new lab studies show that "benos" algae, short for, "Parachlorella sp. benos" algae, in 10 minutes can neutralize 80% of Strontium 90, 90% in 1 hour and, in 10 minutes 40% of cesium-137 and in 24 hours, 40% of radioactive iodized water.  

When dried there jelly like green 0.6cm balls, dried further to 0.2 cm spheres to be disposed of.  

Rather than drying the Benos algae mix it with high carbon digestibles in AD's to produce clean CH4 for much needed energy, and the low radioactive fertilizer produced can be recycled back in a closed loop to both the UPBR and AD as a continued carbon source avoiding having to create landfills to dispose of the jells and or spheres that can last for eons and cause problems we cannot predict or don't want to (Looking forward at the past, walking backward over the precipice!).

The above being true, the "International Atomic Energy Agency", can impose a per barrel tax on its members using the tax to provide UREFs at every nuclear waste site. With each barrel safely neutralized lowering the total barrels to be neutralized, the tax is lowered as well. Also, A UREF at every nuclear reactor site can save containments, barrel tax, transportation and storage costs by decontaminating the waste the day that it is produced as well as the grave possibilities of nuclear spills! 

Cleaning Up Fukushima

In the case of Fukushima, Japan,"benos algae", grown and digested in a UREF can help to clean up their nuclear waste spill and substantially reduce the timetable of 30 years to dismantle the reactor and decontaminate the surroundings area. To create a buffer against further Tsunamis, trees can be planted and flowers in the area, like sunflowers to beautify, as well as soak up radioactive ground water and use digestible organic waste, from such, as high carbon waste for the digester to produce CH4 for much needed energy, continue to lower contaminated water and fertilizer to cleanse and grow more decontaminates to sustain habitation.

Collaborating With Nature Using Clean Local Alternatives Will Mitigate and Sustain Our Planet

Local, zero emission mitigation alternatives using daily renewables have the potential to safely replace nuclear reactors/waste, fossil fuels/pollution and recycle all other organic and mineral waste throughout the world both profitably and sustainably for all generations to come.

It is likely, with a population of seven billion, with healthy food/feed, prosperity, security, education and sustainable lifestyles without poverty and scarcity, conflict, religious dictates, the population need not increase as it learns to provide a sustainable balance of equality for humanity and all living things. This has always been nature's way, fighting it violates it and we pay a heavy price!

Un-contaminated water with CO2 can grow specific algae for nutritional sources already used in baby food to animal feed, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.  The UN considers Spirulina Algae the world's best food supplement ending malnutrition. 

Zero E “Universal Renewable Energy Farms” (UREFs), next to industry CO2 emitters (coal/cement/breweries/refineries), using un-contaminated water will supply carbon credits plus profitable food/feed, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, biopolymers, high-grade sterile organic fertilizer, and lower cost of biofuel.

Marrying the algae UPBR to an AD (Anaerobic Bio digester) and mixing algae, paper, manure, municipal waste and other digestible organics, such a kitchen and agricultural waste, together with waste water and flowing this slurry into an AD where microbes eat the waste producing high volumes of methane (CH4) to be scrubbed for cooking (replacing wood stoves and black lung disease), heat, and using a 90% efficiency, Zero E fuel cells providing electricity for internal use and to the local grid and to EV and CNG filling stations.

Also produced are rich sterile organic, fertilizers, high in potassium (potassium is very costly as its reserves are being quickly depleted world-wide) and nitrogen, for growing organics and reforestation, rebuilding fertile land and replacing land depleting expensive inorganic imported chemical fertilizers!

 What we propose is very simple, scalable and truly "Universal", integrating closed-system Universal Photo Bioreactors (PBR) to grow algae in transparent panels of six interconnected hexagonal channels, of any length, to use sunshine, clean/waste/ sea/brackish water to grow various species of micro-algae for various products.  Adding algae with organic waste to an anaerobic digester produces methane (CH4) for energy and high-grade fertilizer for soil amendment.  

 The UPBR panels snap together to form structures like greenhouses and a multitude of other possibilities.  

All daily waste water and digestible organics, even organics mined from landfills, can be recycled with little cost into CH4 energy and fertilizer for high profit while cleaning up what most people see as contaminated water and trash!

 A UREF, combining UPBRs and ADs, and can integrate new technologies as thin film transparent PVs, LED Grow Lights, Hydro/Aerobic vegetable systems, rain water solar hot water, and Oxygen collection, animal husbandry, a Wi-Fi center and a host of other technologies, adding to efficiency and profits.  

A single shipping container can be pre-configured to house an office and all the necessary equipment, fuel cell, connections/cables, hoses, pumps/ software, transmitter/ receivers, computer/software and office furnishings compliant with UREFs requirements at any location in the world.  When the UREF is assembled, everything is simply connected for a fully functioning system.

A UREF greenhouse of 3,000 sq./m the size of a soccer field with a foundation footprint of about 240 sq./m leaves a useable open interior clear span close to 3,000 sq./m available for countless profitable uses. 

This UREF structure provides PC channels with an algae flow length of 110km and a algae liquid content of 220,000 liters, daily producing approximately 1,100kg of specific types algae lipids, 550kg protein, and 550kg carbohydrates, while reducing 2,200 kg of CO2, sequestering 2,200 more, and producing 2,200 kg of pure oxygen plus approximately 200,000 liters of water passed through ultra violet light for agriculture, all in approximately a 24 hour time period  (Some study says open pond algae aqua culture is about 8 times less efficient than closed PBRs.  Likely UPBR's will exceed these estimates).

This “Universal Photo bioreactor” (UPBR) uses an 11.5 meter extrusion of six hexagonal channels linked internally to allow inoculants of algae and waste water to enter the top port channel and flow up and down each channel via gravity and 69 meters later exit the bottom port at a controlled rate, providing just the right depth of light transmission (17 ½ cm) to harvest mature algae to be converted into a wide variety of uses.

20 to 100's of these UPBRs can snap together and use a total of 2 inlet valves and 1 outlet valve. The UPBR can be remotely controlled via available software and on off the shelf electronic devices and transmitter/receivers.

The UPBR panels snap together like Lego’s at a 30 degree angle, forming a very strong honeycomb, stormproof structure, like a greenhouse, lean-to, parking lot cover, rooftop, nursery, etc., with a very small footprint on non-agricultural land. 

The greenhouse, on the outside, looks like a concave lake.  On the inside the cool green interior gives the impression looking up, as the bottom of a concave aquarium the size of a soccer field.  The open interior space can be used for a multitude of additional profitable possibilities.

Integrating PBR algae production with paper, municipal waste, and other digestible waste into an AD will double CH4 production eliminating the processing expense of refining algae crude and storage and transportation costs.

CH4 can be economically scrubbed on-site and fed directly into a fuel cell to produce electricity for internal use and to the local grid. As well, CH4 can be distributed as natural gas (NG) through existing NG pipelines for cooking/heating, air conditioning, and to be compressed to CNG for transportation.  (California rates natural gas as 5 times less expensive as diesel though diesel has 10% more caloric value but polluting about twice that of CH4). 

Algae/Waste derived CH4 has the same caloric value as ethanol derived from intensive land and fossil use, subsidized corn, soy, and palm kitchen table oils. The cost of equal energy Ethanol can be more than 100 times the actual cost of producing CH4 from unsubsidized renewable waste water, poop and agricultural waste. 

Why: Rationale for the proposal

The World is Using 1.4 Times the Resources it Produces & Accelerating!

The quickest, easiest, cheapest, timely, doable, sensible way to become sustainable is to leap frog short term solutions like hybrids and get off fossil fuel by going directly to electric transportation and local distributed electricity.

This is easily accomplished by using non-drinkable water and organic waste to produce methane (CH4), organic sterile fertilizer and clean water as an important byproduct for organic fertilizer to replace imported toxic fertilizer, and grow organics.

The Tiny Footprint

UREF’s take little time to manufacture, assemble and put into operation on a tiny footprint to mitigate wastewater by growing CO2 sequestering algae and AD with all digestible organics to provide CH4 to offset fossil fuel and imported toxic fertilizer.

 CH4, which pollutes 21 times more carbon emissions than CO2, can be converted into electricity using a CH4 fuel cell, nearly 4 times as efficient as an Internal Combustion Engine (I.C.E.).  CH4 (natural gas) can be used for cooking and provided free to the poor to eliminate wood fuel for cooking and black lung disease (1.2 million people a year die from this).  CH4 can be used for heating as well as CNG for transportation. (Fossil fuel vehicles can be converted to CNG).  Electricity distributed locally from CH4 is about 90% efficient. Imported, long distance electricity losses about 80% of its efficiency.

Using a UPBR married to a AD you get a UREF (Universal Renewable Energy Farm) to process daily renewable community/municipal waste, including that that is mined from landfills and through a 24 hour a day operating UREF, eliminates the costly problems of disposal by remediation of land-fills, and mitigation of CH4 and CO2.

Simultaneously, the UREF provides another simple solution, providing zero emission electric energy low emission gas for cooking, heating, EV &CNG fill-up's, local distributed energy all on a very tiny carbon footprint at a fraction of the cost current methodologies and there giant footprint. UREF can provide large interior spaces for a myriad of profitable uses use on non-agricultural land, parking lots cover, tops of factories and other structures! 

The Giant Footprint

Billions are being spent on what many think is the answer to weaning ourselves off fossil fuel.  Algae is the fastest growing plant on the planet and certain species can have in the neighborhood of 75% lipids, oil which at great expense can be refined into biofuel but is not commercially competitive as yet. Some are saying it will take 5 or 10 years to have parity with fossil fuel.

Vegetable oils are being taken off the kitchen table and put in our gas tanks, using subsidies, to compete with imported fossil fuel.  There is no sustainable future for vegetable oil that grows in soil for biofuel

Toxic Jatropha weed with a much lower oil yield that algae for biofuel, uses vast tracts of land with about a 50% survival rate, its leaves poisonous to cattle. Unsustainable.

The Path We are On is - Wasteful - Unsustainable - Irrational  - Irresponsible

One answer to sustainability lies in what heretofore everyone pretty much abhors and wants to get rid of at great expense but in an entirely illogical way that continuing on this path will allow humanly to survive!

Algae - Wastewater - Poop - Organic Waste 

We have been conditioned through life that we can get rid of the above horrid stuff.  

With eyes wide open go to a landfill and see the decaying matter that releases methane, 21 times worse than CO2 emissions, polluting our atmosphere with green house gas. Visit a lake or ocean area clogged with toxic algae blooms. Decaying algae killing off sea life a littering our beaches making the area un-swimmable.

Algae thrive on toxic fertilizer runoff. Don’t bury it, harvest the live algae and AD it into CH4 energy and high grade organic fertilizer, replacing the toxic imported stuff for profit while the growing algae we think is horrific is actually absorbing the toxins to clean the water. Only when you let it die and go to the bottom to decay and rob oxygen is it a problem other wise everything benefits and profits by it.

We are Not Getting Rid of our Waste; Our Waste is Getting Rid of Us 

We didn't get rid of it is still here and accumulating at an accelerating rate! Continuing to hide the waste rather than use it to our benefit, we will be buried in it

Nature has a way of cleaning itself and providing healthy habitats for all living things.  By making nature our ally we can transform this stuff that we want to get rid transforming it into renewable sustainable strategies by mining landfills, recycling wastewater, farming algae blooms, to process daily renewable organics into what make black lung disease, malnutrition, food and water shortage, viruses a thing of the past, and the list goes on.

"Universal Renewable Energy Farms for a Sustainable Planet"

If 25 years ago every, community, municipality, school, large industry, military base, large hotel, airport, cruise ship had a UREF as an integral part of its original blueprint or retrofit just like rest rooms, we would be sustainable now and into the future and likely there would be no landfills, toxic algae blooms, bird flue, climate change, less temperature and sea level rise, wars, malnutrition and lack of food, emergency shelter and medical services.

It is not Too Late Too Make Haste With Waste! 


How to Make a UREF

UREFs can be mass-produced using 2 basic elements:  

(1) 1 Polycarbonate extrusion die to make 11 1/2 m long x 30cm wide x 5cm deep PC UPBR panels

(2) 1 Mold to make rubber end plugs for the honeycomb hex channels, 1 each small splice/square entry/exit plug channel mold and 1 each rectangular PC extrusion die for inlet/outlet channels for CO2/ O2 entry/exit channels.

These elements can be easily cloned and sent to every corner of the world to mass produce, transport to a regional site, and snap everything together like Lego's for the appropriate use/shelter.

Add to this standard off the shelf valves (only 3 for 20 to 100's of panels) that can be remotely controlled with available soft ware, along with devises to measure temperature, PH, harvest flow and other.  

China has been using Anaerobic Digesters for 3,000 years so they can be built locally or purchased from vendors.

Individuals from the regions where new UREFs are to be set up get the training by going to other regions that have pilot projects or where new UREFs are ready for assembly.  These individuals now train others within their region and from others to learn from them the same skills. 

Initial steps toward formalizing a "Blueprint for a Sustainable Planet" 

Six months to obtain grant money, make the tooling dies and molds for the UPBR system, choose a manufacturer such as, Bayer Material Science, to produce the UPBR panels and molds and identify Universities, Institutions, Industry, Government Agencies, Communities to collaborate with on these pilot projects below, with the possibility of others leading to nutritional supplements and zero emission energy.

One year to establish working successful collaborative pilot projects, anywhere, worldwide.

Six months to strategically establish pilot projects working projects in communities and industry that can finance themselves, anywhere worldwide.

One year to monitor the success of these field projects while lining up more communities and industry to finance themselves following the successful examples of others and collaborating to share ways to constantly improve on the "Blueprints for full Sustainability", attracting more and more to follow their lead to provide totally functional, "Blueprint for a Sustainable Planet" and make it a "Reality"!

Suggested Pilot Projects for UPBRs, UREFs and Integrated ADs

(1) Algae to grow high-grade food supplements to prevent human malnutrition, such as Spirolena and Chorella Vulgaris, and nutritious food supplements for animals/fowl/fish/shrimp/household pets and more. The UN states that Spirulena Algae is the world’s best food supplement to end malnutrition.

(2) UPBRs to use sunshine and wastewater to grow algae for biofuels with high lipid content, also providing high-grade organic fertilizer.  New technologies are bringing down the cost of producing biofuels from high lipid algae, such as nanochloropsis salina that can be grown in saline water and has a lipid content of about 72%.  A study states that PBRs are about 8 times more efficient than open-pond.  UPBRs may exceed this estimate.

(3) Grow "Benos Algae" in a UPBR with Strontium 90, cesium-137, radioactive iodine to neutralize/or encapsulate the radioactive waste and integrate the nuclear waste algae in an AD with high carbon organics to possibly produce clean methane and low radioactive fertilizer for a closed loop feed stock continually recycled to provide safe radiation levels.

(4) Provide fast transportable, UN disaster relief UREF centers for shelter, medical services, recycling wastewater, poop, organics and other unhealthy organisms into clean energy and food supplements.  Haiti earthquake victims could have benefited greatly with UREF's to clean contamination, provide shelter, medical services, energy and high-grade fertilizer.

(5) A municipality UREF using municipal wastewater and organic waste, including mining of landfills to provide CH4 for energy and fertilizer for organic soil amendment.  Many municipalities already have Anaerobic Digesters so combing UREFs to clean wastewater and produce algae to combine with municipal waste to make energy and fertilizer, produces energy and fertilizer while eliminating sludge.

(6) A UREF farmhouse for dairy and all types of animals, fowl, fish, recycling their waste for clean energy and feed and fertilizer.  Many farms are barely profitable with the high cost of electricity, fuel, fertilizer, and waste disposal.  A UREF can eliminate these costs plus provide profits on the sale of power to the local grid.

(7) A UREF wastewater algae growing greenhouse for growing organic, aero/hydroponics, flowers, ornamentals, mushrooms, using algae and organic waste in ADs for production of CH$ and fertilizer and recycled wastewater to clean agricultural water for continued organic growth.  Many farmers say that growing organics is too expensive to be competitive with non-organics.  A UREF would reverse this and make organics more profitable, eliminating expensive polluting, unhealthy fertilizers and providing all power needs and eliminate the need for fossil fuel.

(8) Make solar hot water heaters using the same UPBR extrusion dies with high heat absorbing black UV protected polymers to extrude 11.5 m panels with internal up and down flow channels, plus plug with universal water connectors for ambient water to enter the bottom channel and hot water to exit the top channel.

Our “Blueprint for a Sustainable Planet” has been emailed to  

Vision of the future under this proposal

To Have a Future We Need to be Bold and Act Now!

We have no time, we have no choice, the world faltering economy’s, climate calamities, malnutrition, food and clean water shortages, disease, unemployment can be solved through alternative renewable daily resources including, “Waste” and other zero emission alternative renewable and sustainable solutions.

Politics, Wall Street, greed, big corporations, white shirts behind big desks with blinders on are not solutions.  

Worlds of eyes wide open green shirts that merge with nature are the future for us all.  We need to stop throwing money down a rat hole for the rats to devour.  A planet that cleans itself and energizes itself using natures, using algae, the earths first life form that created our atmosphere and evolved to the life forms we have today, and our daily renewable waste, along with other logical renewable clean alternatives can and will rescue us for a sustainable forever planet with a cornucopia of everything to provide for all life on our Mother Earth.

Special Note Regarding the Model and Mitigation Costs

In this proposal not only for UREFs and UPBRs, but also for also for solar, wind, hydro, and other zero emission renewable alternatives, LED lighting, electric vehicles and more, can with low interest loans and mitigation profits quickly pay off the loans and provide a reward of clean sustainable profits to invest in a high quality future.

A local example, near where I live, is a large well known Hotel Spa that signed an agreement with the Bill Clinton Foundation to reduce there energy costs by 20%.  The Foundation set the hotel up with manufacturers of low energy devices and solar panels and with a bank for a low interest loan with a guarantee that the loan will be paid back in 4 years.  The hotel is using the 20% savings to pay off the loan with nothing out of pocket and in 4 years.  

If the loan is not paid off in time, the Clinton Foundation will pay it!  With the loan paid off the 20% savings in energy goes into the pocket.

Following this example could tremendously speed up the proliferation of profitable alternative renewable energy zero emission electric vehicles, low energy devices, UPBRs and UREFs to perpetuate a sustainable planet into perpetuity, with mitigation costs balance out by profits made by reducing our carbon to footprint in balance with nature.

Creative Commons - Attribution- Non-Commercial - Share Alike 

UPBRs and UREFs are licensed under Creative Commons, open source providing the ability for others to be licensed to use our design as specified in the Creative Commons license for non-commercial purposes and improve the model for universal use. For commercial purpose licensing royalties will apply ( 

Universal Renewable Energy Farm by Roy Mahoff/Stefan Schlau is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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Artistic representations


single 6 channel panels 


>photobioreactor with 6 channels from top diagonally down to bottom


assembled rubber end plugs with PC entry/exit channels at top and bottom


male/female clip mechanism


8 assembled panels, each with 6 hex channels diagonally down