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Nualgi - Diatom Algae - Oxygen by Nualgi-Diatom Algae

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Diatom Algae produce about 20 to 25% of all Oxygen in the world. All the oxygen required to treat sewage can be produced by Diatoms.


Description

Summary


Sewage / Wastewater mainly contain nutrients Nitrogen and Phosphorus and removing these is considered very difficult and expensive. Most conventional wastewater treatment technologies do not remove nutrients. If tertiary treatment or Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) is used the cost is very high.

When nutrients flow into rivers, lakes and estuaries undesirable phytoplankton and weeds grow and sometimes bloom rapidly resulting in algal blooms, hypoxia, mass fish kills, decrease in fish catch, foul odor, etc.

Using the nutrients in sewage to grow something useful is the best solution to deal with them.

What is the most useful organism that can be grown using the nutrients in water ?

The answer is Diatom Algae.

Why are Diatoms the most useful organisms ?

Because they are the dominant group of phytoplankton in nature and they are the best food for Zooplankton, newly hatched fish and shrimp, small fish, etc. Diatoms account for about 40% to 50% of primary production in lakes and oceans. ( Please refer the ‘Global Significance’ para on http://tolweb.org/Diatoms/21810 ).

Others working on use of Algae for wastewater treatment advocate harvesting of the algae. Harvesting algae is difficult and expensive. Allowing fish to consume the algae and harvesting the fish is viable and profitable.  

We will use a unique product called Nualgi – Nutrition for Algae, to grow Diatom Algae in wastewater treatment plants, ponds, lagoons, lakes, etc.


Nualgi - Diatom Algae - Schematic

Nualgi is invented by Mr T Sampath Kumar of Bangalore, India and we have an exclusive agreement with him to use Nualgi to treat sewage.

Treated sewage can be reused and thus the energy now being consumed to pump water over long distances can be reduced.

Electricity used for aeration of wastewater in WWTPs can be reduced. At present huge amounts of electricity is consumed to merely aerate wastewater to dissolve atmospheric oxygen into the sewage.


What actions do you propose?

Nualgi is invented by Mr T Sampath Kumar of Bangalore in 2004 and the US Patent # is 7585898 ‘Composition for growth of Diatom Algae’ granted in 2009.

Nualgi is certified to be non-toxic by Indian Institute of Toxicological Research, Lucknow.

Any other certificates required will be obtained.

Municipal agencies just need to understand the benefits of using Diatom Algae to produce oxygen and utilize Nualgi to grow Diatoms.

The total amount of Nitrogen in the urine of all the people in the world is about 20 million tonnes per year, and of Phosphorus in the urine is about 2 Million tonnes. In addition to this large amounts of fertilizer run off, animal dung, etc., is available. These are regarded as problems to be dealth with, we regard these as resources to be used.

Diatom Algae require CO2, Nitrogen and Phosphorus for photosynthesis.

We will use Nualgi to grow Diatom Algae in sewage and sewage polluted lakes and coastal waters. Nualgi works in both fresh water and sea water.

Nualgi can be used in water of any type or volume, since Diatoms grow in any type and volume of water from a Goldfish bowl to the oceans.

We will market Nualgi for use in wastewater treatment plants, Facultative Lagoons, polluted ponds, lakes, rivers, estuaries, coastal waters, etc.

We will market Nualgi for use in fish ponds on farms, to consume the fertilizer in the runoff from farms. At present this run off is flowing into rivers and lakes and polluting them.

Septic tank runoff too can be released into ponds and Nualgi dosed in the ponds to grow Diatom Algae and Fish. At present septic tank runoff is seeping into the soil and sometimes it flows into wells, ponds and streams.

Most of the sewage treated in modern Wastewater Treatment Plants is not reused but is released into lake and rivers or even into oceans. For e.g., in California, Los Angeles treats and releases about 350 MGD of treated sewage into the Pacific via a long Ocean outfall http://www.lasewers.org/treatment_plants/hyperion/ and San Diego releases about 240 MGD of treated sewage into the Pacific, http://www.sandiego.gov/mwwd/facilities/ptloma/ .

These WWTPs spend millions of dollars and consume huge amounts of electricity and in the end the treated wastewater is dumped into the ocean. Proper treatment using Diatom Algae would enable reduction in the amount of electricity used to treat the wastewater and use of the treated wastewater.

It is estimated that about 3% of the total electricity consumed in USA is used for Water and Wastewater, pumping and treatment. Using Diatom Algae to treat wastewater would save huge amounts of electricity and reuse would save huge amount of electricity consumed for pumping water from long distances.

There are reports that Diatom Algae are declining in the oceans due to sewage.

http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news-events/shift-arabian-sea-plankton-may-threaten-fisheries

"Until recently, photosynthetic diatoms supported the Arabian Sea food chain. Zooplankton grazed on the diatoms, a type of algae, and were in turn eaten by fish. In the early 2000s, it all changed."

.....

"As the study authors point out, Mumbai’s population has doubled to 21 million in the last decade. The region now sends 63 tons of nitrogen and 11 tons of phosphorus into the Arabian Sea each day. Karachi’s 15 million people send 70 percent of their wastewater into the sea untreated. "

Nualgi can be used to grow Diatom Algae to treat the sewage from Karachi and Mumbai, to keep the Arabian Sea clean, well oxygenated and with plenty of fish.

The number of dead zones in coastal waters have increase many fold in the past 50 years. There were only about 50 in 1960s and there now more than 500. Growing Diatom Algae to consume the nutrients in sewage and fertilizer is the best solution to prevent other algae from growing. Diatoms do not contribute to dead zones since they are consumed by zooplankton and fish, but other algae like Cyanobacteria contribute to the formation of dead zones, since they are not consumed by zooplankton and fish and hence die and decompose.

Baltic Sea develops a huge dead zone each summer. The Helsinki Convention ( HELCOM ) has set targets for each country. These are available on http://helcom.fi/baltic-sea-action-plan/nutrient-reduction-scheme/targets/

The total target is 118,134 Tonnes of Nitrogen and 15,178 Tonnes of Phosphorus per year.

The amount of Diatoms required to be grown to consume this N and P would be about 1.4 Million tonnes and the amount of Nualgi required to grow this quantum of Diatoms in the Baltic Sea and in all tanks, ponds, lakes, rivers, etc. in the watershed of the Baltic Sea is about 1,400 Kilo liters per year. This requires production at the rate of 5 kilo liters per day and the present production capacity of Nualgi is adequate for this. The production capacity can be enhanced as required, since all the raw material required to manufacture Nualgi are available and the buildings and plant and machinery required can be set up quite easily.

 

Cost of Sewage treatment and transport of water over long distances:

The Hyperion WWTP in Los Angeles treats about 350 MGD at a cost of $77 Million per year. http://www.lasewers.org/treatment_plants/hyperion/

This is $ 600 per Million Gallon.

But this treated water is now being released into the Ocean and is not being reused.

Total cost of Nualgi would be about $100 per liter and 1 liter would treat 0.25 to 0.5 Million Gallon. So cost would be at most $ 400 per MG and may be as low as $100 per MG, once technology matures and costs reduce due to economies of scale. And the water would be fit for reuse after this treatment, so it need not be dumped into the ocean.

The Terminal Island WWTP http://www.lasewers.org/treatment_plants/terminal_island/ does treat wastewater to drinking water standards but the cost is $9.6 Million for 4.5 MGD. The cost per MG is about $5,845, almost 10 times more than the cost at Hyperion WWTP. This is perhaps the reason why more such plants are not being built. So a lower cost solution would be very useful.

The distance over which needs to be transported can be reduced if wastewater is treated fully and recycled. This would result in tremendous savings in energy consumption for pumping water.

Drinking water reservoirs:

Drinking water reservoirs too are polluted due to sewage and fertilizer runoff. This increases the cost of aeration of the water.

Nualgi and Diatoms can be used even in large open to sky Drinking water reservoirs to control the nutrient level and eliminate the use of aerators.

Reduced dependence on bottled water:

Better treatment of sewage and availability of clean water will help reduce the dependence on bottled water and the huge amount of electricity and fuel that is used to supply water in plastic bottles.

 


Who will take these actions?

Nualgi Nanobiotech will manufacture Nualgi and we will distribute it to all users worldwide.

Wastewater treatment plants can buy and use it in their plants to improve the treatment and reduce consumption of electricity.

Municipalities, Councils and other Government agencies can buy to use in lakes and estuaries and coastal waters to remove nutrients from the water.

E.g.  

  • The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority can use Nualgi to treat sewage from Boston fully and reuse it and also keep the River Charles, River Mystic and Boston Harbor clean, nutrient free and well oxygenated. 
  • At present the waters in these waterways are eutrophic. http://www.mwra.state.ma.us/harbor/enquad/pdf/2002-20.pdf
  • This is In spite of treatment and discharge of 350 MGD of treated wastewater into the ocean via a 10 mile long tunnel. 
  • If the wastewater if properly treated there would be no need to discharge into the sea and if all water is properly treated, no river, lake or ocean need be eutrophic.

Farmers can use Nualgi in ponds on their farms to consume the nutrients in the fertilizer runoff.

Groups of house owners can use it to treat sewage / wastewater onsite and reuse the water and thus reduce the cost of wastewater treatment and pumping of water over long distances.Nualgi Nanobiotech will manufacture Nualgi in India and consumers all over the world can use it in their respective wastewater treatment plants and polluted waterways.

Nualgi is already being used on a small scale in India and USA and trials are on in many countries.


Where will these actions be taken?

Nualgi Nanobiotech will manufacture Nualgi in India and consumers all over the world can use it in their respective wastewater treatment plants and polluted waterways.

Nualgi is already being used on a small scale in India and USA and trials are on in many countries.

E.g. In Boston the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority can use Nualgi to treat sewage from Boston fully and reuse it and also keep the River Charles, River Mystic and Boston Harbor clean, nutrient free and well oxygenated.


How will these actions have a high impact in addressing climate change?

Electric aerators used in Wastewater Treatment Plants consume electricity, power generation results in carbon emissions. Substitution of electric aerators with Diatom Algae to produce Oxygen will reduce the carbon emissions. Diatom Algae consume CO2 to produce O2 during photosynthesis.

In USA about 1% of all power consumption is for aeration of wastewater, this can be reduced substantially.

 

The impact on energy is as follows:

1 Liter of Nualgi can grow upto 1,000 kgs of Diatom Algae and these can produce about 1,300 kgs of oxygen, thus all the oxygen required to satisfy all the BOD and COD can be produced utilizing the nutrients in the sewage, so there would be no need for use of electricity to run aerators.

Thus 1 liter of Nualgi can treat about 1 to 2 million liters of sewage.


What are other key benefits?

Diatoms are the natural food for fish, so fish production will improve and this will help feed the growing population.

In fact, fish in the oceans have declined drastically in the 20th century, perhaps by about 75%, since we have been catching fish from the oceans, but have not done anything to grow fish in the oceans.

Proper treatment of sewage / wastewater will enable reuse of the water.

Methane emissions are expected to increase in areas like the Arctic, due to the melting of the ice cap. Diatoms will increase dissolved oxygen and create aerobic conditions and thus reduce methane production by methanogen bacteria and higher DO will support growth of methanotrophs, i.e., bacteria that consume methane. Thus not only will CO2 emissions be taken care of, but even Methane emissions will be taken care of.

 


What are the proposal’s costs?

Cost of sewage treatment using Nualgi and Diatom Algae would be lower than the current cost of treatment using electric aerators, perhaps as low as 50%. So there would be a huge savings in cost to all people all over the world.

There are no negative side effects to the proposed solution.

Cost of Sewage treatment - an example:

The Hyperion WWTP in Los Angeles treats about 350 MGD at a cost of $77 Million per year. http://www.lasewers.org/treatment_plants/hyperion/

This is $ 600 per Million Gallon.

But this treated water is now being released into the Ocean and is not being reused.

Total cost of Nualgi would be about $100 per liter and 1 liter would treat 0.25 to 0.5 Million Gallon. So cost would be at most $ 400 per MG and may be as low as $100 per MG, once technology matures and costs reduce due to economies of scale. And the water would be fit for reuse after this treatment, so it need not be dumped into the ocean.

The Terminal Island WWTP http://www.lasewers.org/treatment_plants/terminal_island/ does treat wastewater to drinking water standards but the cost is $9.6 Million for 4.5 MGD. The cost per MG is about $5,845, almost 10 times more than the cost at Hyperion WWTP. This is perhaps the reason why more such plants are not being built. So a lower cost solution would be very useful.

The distance over which needs to be transported can be reduced if wastewater is treated fully and recycled. This would result in tremendous savings in energy consumption for pumping water.


Time line

Short Term:

Nualgi was invented over 10 years of research from 1994 to 2004 and has been in commercial use since 2005.

Its effectiveness and safety and economics has been proven in normal commercial use.

So it can be used on a large scale as soon as regulatory agencies approve, this may take 2 to 5 years.

Scaling up the manufacturing capacity is quite easy, since all the raw material are available.

To treat all sewage in the world with Nualgi and Diatoms would require construction of ponds / tanks / lagoons. This would not take much time to construct, the time would be much less than that taken to construct conventional Wastewater Treatment Plants. Decentralised treatment is possible if Nualgi and Diatom Algae are used, so tanks can be built just outside toilets or for group of houses and such small tanks can be made of plastic, composite materials, etc.  

Since the costs are lower existing budgets are adequate and building the infrastructure to treat all the sewage in the world with Nualgi and Diatoms is possible in 10 years.

Funds availability and regulatory approvals are the only constraints, there are no physical or technological challenges. 

Medium Term and Long Term:

The project can be fully implemented in 15 years and only maintenance is required after that. 

Improvements in the product and economies of scale will help reduce the cost of the product.


Related proposals

'Nualgi - Diatom Algae for Sewage Treatment' in the Waste category.

Oxygen is required to satisfy the BOD and COD of Wastewater / sewage / eutrophic water.

The challenge is to produce all the oxygen required without using electricity generated using fossil fuel, since this adds to carbon emissions.

Since water, especially sewage, contains nutrients, N and P and these are the basic inputs for photosynthesis. using the nutrients to grow an useful organisms to produce all the oxygen required is the solution.

Diatoms can be used to do this and Nualgi is the solution to grow Diatoms in a simple manner, in large waterways.

If sewage is fully treated it need not be dumped into oceans and can be reused and requirement to pump in fresh water from far of sources or deep wells, will reduce.


References

1. Iron Hypothesis. Prof John Martin http://www.palomar.edu/oceanography/iron.htm

2. The possible importance of silica in marine eutrophication.

C B Officer and J H Ryther. 

http://www.int-res.com/articles/meps/3/m003p083

3. The Economic Importance of Diatoms. Albert Mann. 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Economic-Importance-Of-Diatoms/dp/1278235469

4. The dependence of the fishes on the Diatoms. Albert Mann.

Ecology Vol. 2, No. 2 (Apr., 1921), pp. 79-83http://www.jstor.org/stable/1928919

5. The life of the Diatoms in the World's oceans. Dr Armburst.http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v459/n7244/full/nature08057.html