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Nualgi - Diatom Algae - Oxygen by Nualgi-Diatom Algae

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Venkatesh R

Jun 15, 2015
02:52

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Hi, Its a nice initiative, the algae can be used as a bio-diesel as well, so nurturing algae is good idea. What we are targeting here is green algae right? What is the possibility of using Nuallgi when the moisture is less, is there a way to grow them in extreme condition? So that it doesn't get limited to water bodies. I hope the algae doesn't stinks, though its a biological process have you taken any steps for this? Nice initiative all the best! Thanks Venkatesh

Bhaskar Mallimadugula

Jun 15, 2015
09:04

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Diatom Algae are brown not green. Diatoms are best feed for fish, shrimp, oysters, etc. So it is best to allow diatoms to be consumed by fish, rather than to harvest for biofuel. Diatoms require water to grow, since oceans make up 70% of the surface of Earth, water availability is not a problem. Nualgi was invented in 2004 and is in regular use since then. Website of US distributor - http://nualgiponds.com/case-studies/

Bhaskar Mallimadugula

Jul 10, 2015
03:16

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Judges comment: This proposal is interesting and seems to be building on a market and implementation that already exists. A practical idea that is known to work. This is certainly a pretty feasibly concept with clear benefits. The idea of scaling up the use of algae in treatment is quite interesting. Such an approach could reduce electricity use in plants. Nice idea using natural systems. Answer : Thank you. Judges Question / Comment: Authors did not present costs and timelines. The proposal is not clear on addressing the energy-water nexus challenges sought out in this competition. Treating water is part of the equation, but there is an energy aspect as well. Clarifying Nualgi’s relationship to the energy aspect of the energy-water nexus equation would be helpful. As is, the impact of this product on the energy-water nexus challenge seems minimal. Answer: The cost reduction is mentioned - 50% compared to the existing technologies. Costs depend on the scale of use, so it is difficult to summarise in this type of a presentation. Nualgi cost would be upto US$ 100 per liter and 1 liter would treat 1 to 2 Million Liters of Sewage / Wastewater to tertiary treatment standards. As with all new technologies there is scope for cost reduction as scale of production increases and R & D costs are recovered. The time lines are mentioned in the Time Line para quoted below for ready reference - “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.” The produce is already ready and in use since 2005. Funds availability and regulatory approvals are the only constraints, there are no physical or technological challenges. 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. The impact of the solution on energy - water nexus is that when wastewater is properly treated and reused, less water needs to be pumped, so less energy is consumed for pumping water - either from reservoirs far away or deep wells. It would also be helpful to address the existing infrastructure challenges to using algae in current facilities. Tanks or Ponds are required to grow algae, there is no other requirement. Diatom Algae can be grown in the tanks in WWTPs and in ponds and lagoons to be built in the premises of the WWTPs if land is available. If land is not available then new ponds and tanks can be built as close to the source of sewage as possible to reduce pumping cost. The size and retention time is the only factor. Diatoms require at least 7 days to grow, so retention time has to be 7 days, i.e., if sewage flow is 1 Million Liters per Day ( MLD ) then size of the tank has to be at least 7 million liters, it cannot be more than 1 meter deep, since light has to penetrate to the bottom for Diatoms to grow. Tanks can be small enough to treat sewage from 1 toilet or large enough to treat sewage from an entire city, since the solution is flexible and scalable. So multiple tanks can be built in one building to treat ( or at least partly treat ) sewage from each toilet just outside the toilet or one larger tank can be built to deal with all sewage from building or community. The solution is very flexible, therefore there are no fundamental infrastructure challenges, only minor engineering issues and these are simpler and less expensive than those that apply to current solutions.

Roy Barrett

Jul 12, 2015
04:41

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I am very impressed with the ideas behind this proposal and how they have been translated into actual operating practice to allow continued evaluation and proof of concept. It beneficially addresses a wide range of issues with present waste treatment practices [ie excess energy use, eutrophication, etc] and converts the 'waste' into valuable resources. I am aware of another, relatively new, waste-water treatment technology developed by a New Zealand Company - 'Organica' that uses natural plants as the primary treatment process, and I suspect that the Nualgi process could work well with this system. Regards, AREMBEE

Bhaskar Mallimadugula

Jul 12, 2015
10:36

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Dear Mr Barrett Thank you. Diatom Algae are similar to plants. They are superior to plants since they grow in the water and hence the oxygen released dissolves into the water and they are consumed by zooplankton and fish. They do not require land to grow, as you know land is scarce due to increasing population. A diatom algae is similar to one cell in the leaf of a plant. Regards Bhaskar

Undurti Das

Aug 4, 2015
12:52

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Excellent proposal that has immediate practical value and applicability.

Robert Tulip

Aug 12, 2015
05:19

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Nualgi Hi Bhaskar, this is a great proposal which complements my Tidal Pump in the Energy-Water Nexus. It would be a superb result if the judges could select us as joint winners for the CoLab competition and if we could then work together to find commercial partners. I have also read your related waste water treatment proposal, which makes clearer that Nualgi is a fertilizer additive to improve diatom yield. My initial thought was that Nualgi was actually a species of diatom, so reading the proposal has explained this. I thought your idea of having algae photobioreactors on each floor of a high rise, fertilized by Nualgi and treated for use in each successive toilet was a superb innovation, massively reducing the apartment water pumping cost through a cascading reuse system. That should be an instant money maker. The question of which algae species to use in large scale ocean based industrial algae production is key to my own work, once the basic engineering concepts are proven, and I welcome your expertise and experience. My null hypothesis is to use wild algae with husbandry methods to steadily increase yield by selecting the optimal species in a high CO2 and high nutrient salt water environment, with added trace elements such as provided by Nualgi. Yield growth would be optimised by seeding the system with diatoms that are proven to be most productive. I must say, I do not trust the use of genetic engineering in algae, and prefer on principle to use entirely natural plant husbandry methods to improve yields. The study of algae yield is a key theme here. It seems plausible that after a week in an optimal controlled and enclosed growing environment, algae could bloom to occupy 1% of the water by dry volume. In a hectare size farm (100x100m) of depth one metre (ie ten megalitres volume), that is a spectacular biomass result. 1% of a hectare-metre is 100 tonnes of water, equating to 14 tonnes of algae or two tonnes per day. That should be the goal, but it is a long way off. Your work on diatoms complements NASA’s excellent major research project work on Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae as a method for waste water treatment. What is truly remarkable is that you have a simple and inexpensive process which should be in universal use, and NASA has proven the need and how it can be done but have dropped the ball. This brings me to my main question, the design of facilities for growing diatoms. The OMEGA design is excellent for use in sheltered waters, and has been presented in TED talks with San Francisco as the pilot target. I cannot understand why the city of San Francisco, as the world hub of innovation, has so spectacularly failed to get behind Dr Jonathan Trent of NASA to implement this major key climate and environmental proposal. It is entirely feasible and essential, but there is a paralysis of the investment system. There seems to be a political pathology at work that leads people to ignore this essential area of technology. Surely some of the visionaries like Elon Musk and Larry Page should be making this happen in their own backyard. Russ George’s experience with his salmon iron fertilizing project is a shocking example of the pathology that is preventing essential investment in this crucial field for the global climate. It would be great if you could say more about the design of a suitable diatom sewage system for the household level, what the size, design, cost of purchase and operation, risk, smell, materials, maintenance needs, status, manufacture process, yield, methane management, potential offtake use, and other specifications may be. As an ‘off grid’ solution you should have a ready market to replace septic tanks, especially if people can turn their own shit and piss into money. The high rise photobioreactor proposal in your waste water proposal is excellent for this. Your mention of the appalling release of untreated sewage by Karachi into the Indian Ocean indicates that algae waste water treatment should be a major development project in Pakistan for a donor such as the Asian Development Bank, to build an OMEGA system using Nualgi as a Public Private Partnership, funded by a loan to the Government of Pakistan. Rather than just releasing the algae into the ocean, it should be collected and sold to farmers, to generate profit to plough back into system expansion and replication. OMEGA has proven how use of osmotic membranes is an effective way to retain the algae while allowing the water to be released. My own ideas on deep sea hydrothermal liquefaction are a whole further potential future step in the high ambition of making algae biofuel a major new world commercial industry. As I am not a sewage expert I had to look up your specialised acronyms BOD and COD, although I could work out WWTP (Waste Water Treatment Plant). In writing for a general audience you should always spell out all acronyms at first use as a matter of courtesy to the reader, especially since some will just stop reading because they assume you only want to speak to experts. Googling tells me that COD or Chemical Oxygen Demand is the total measurement of all chemicals in the water that can be oxidized. TOC or Total Organic Carbon is the measurement of organic carbons. BOD- Biochemical Oxygen Demand is supposed to measure the amount of food (or organic carbons) that bacteria can oxidize. Best Regards Robert Tulip

Bhaskar Mallimadugula

Aug 23, 2015
10:43

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Hi Robert Sorry for the belated reply, I have been a little busy for past few weeks. Yes, Nualgi can be used along with Tidal Pump and OMEGA, since we are only dosing micro-nutrients to grow Diatoms and other inputs can be used to refine the process. The growth rates are about 0.1 gram of Diatoms dry weight per liter per day. This is about 100 tons per hectare per year. When this is achieved without high Capex and Opex, as in a aquaculture pond or lake, the returns are good. I have contacted Dr Trent of OMEGA in 2010 and hope to work on this project in future. In 2010 they had already decided to use Green Algae, so they could not change to Diatoms. I have used standard acronyms partly due to time and word limit constraints and partly since this proposal is intended to be read by experts and not by lay people. You said "Rather than just releasing the algae into the ocean, it should be collected and sold to farmers, to generate profit to plough back into system expansion and replication." I disagree with you on this point, the objective of collecting / harvesting algae is the main problem, it is very expensive to do this. That is why we are advocating growing algae in oceans and lakes and allowing zooplankton and fish to consume them and then harvesting the fish, this is easier and economical, the infrastructure is already in place to catch fish.

Sunil Nanda

Aug 23, 2015
10:28

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Awesome product for fish health.

Bhaskar Mallimadugula

Aug 26, 2015
11:02

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"And we're even more dominant in the oceans, killing 14 times more adult fish than other marine predator species." https://news.vice.com/article/humans-are-so-efficient-at-killing-that-scientists-are-calling-us-super-predators Humans Are So Efficient at Killing That Scientists are Calling Us 'Super Predators'

Bhaskar Mallimadugula

Sep 25, 2015
03:53

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A Video about our proposal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HF0YEwsPPgI&feature=youtu.be


Bhaskar Mallimadugula

Sep 26, 2015
04:11

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A report about Diatoms in oceans by NASA -

http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/30497/20150925/decline-microscopic-plant-life-affect-atmosphere.htm

From 1998 to 2012, there has been a one percent global decrease per year of the largest of the phytoplankton algae, known as diatoms. Significant losses have occurred in the North Pacific, North Indian and Equatorial Indian oceans.

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Report by our Australian distributor about use of Nualgi in Lagoon STPs and Dams -

nualgienviro.com.au/an-overview-of-trials-using-nualgi-in-lagoon-stps-and-dams-in-queensland-australia/


Roshan Senapati

Mar 18, 2016
10:03

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Hello Bhaskar,

I stay in Hyderabad (Pragati nagar, Kukatpally) & reside besides a lake in which the water from the whole locality is drained in after a 1 step treatment by the nearby waste water treatment plant. Previoulsy before the plant the water used to be very smelly but after the set up of the plant the smell has reduced to 50% of wht it was previously. So wanted to know if it can be used in such a man formed lake & what would be the approximate quantity that would be required for the pond.. From various videos i can see that the pond turns crystal clear after 8 weeks or more of treatment, but in this case how much time will it take?. If you are in India then can you please send me your contact details so that i can get in touch with U ASAP, in the mean time i vll talk to the sarpanch of our place (since it is a village in hyderabad) for necessary approvals. My mail id is roshan.senapati@gmail.com

Regards,

Roshan Senapati

 

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