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The destruction of blue-green algae by microwave radiation on the surface of water bodies.


Description

Summary

For the destruction of blue-green algae on the surface of the reservoir, I propose to use a microwave radiator mounted on boats, using the phenomenon of heating water-containing substances with electromagnetic radiation of the decimeter range, as in a microwave oven a radiator-magnetron is installed.

The concept of the process of destruction of algae occurs on the principle of dielectric heating of materials containing polar molecules.

The energy of electromagnetic (superhigh-frequency oscillations of microwave radiation) causes the motion of molecules with a dipole moment under the action of the electric field component, and intermolecular friction leads to an increase in the temperature of the material.

While the boat is moving along the surface of the reservoir, which is covered with a layer of algae on top, it is necessary to turn on the microwave device located on the boat (direct microwave radiation to the water surface), which must be cleaned of algae.

Microwave radiation entering the algae instantly heats the water in the middle of the plant, which will result in the algae dying from the high temperature inside the plant.

The depth of penetration of microwave radio waves into the heated object (algae) should be calculated depending on the size of the algae (the lower the frequency - the greater the depth of penetration into the plant) and depending on the depth of the treated layer of water.


Proposals


What actions do you propose?

Blue-green algal blooms are a major hazard to water supplies as well as potentially dangerous to human, animal and fish health.

Blue-green algae are actually types of bacteria known as Cyanobacteria.  They normally look green and sometimes may turn bluish when scums are dying.

Taste and odour problems commonly occur with large concentrations of blue-green algae and some species are capable of producing toxins.

Blue-green algal blooms

'Bloom' is the term used to describe an accumulation of algal cells to a point where they discolour the water, form scums, produce unpleasant tastes and odours, affect fish populations and reduce the water quality. Decomposing algae can also cause depletion of oxygen and induce fish kills.

Species of blue-green algae may dominate and increase excessively in water when:

  • nutrient levels, particularly phosphorus and nitrogen are sufficient to support the population growth
  • the ratio of nitrogen to phosphorous concentration is low
  • water is still and turbulence is low (lack of mixing)
  • weather patterns are stable for a week or so
  • weather is warm (although blooms can occur in cooler weather too).

Blue-green algal blooms often persist for several weeks, sometimes months, depending mainly on the weather or flow conditions. Cooler, windy weather or increased flow may reduce or prevent blooms from occurring.

As the bloom dies, the cells tend to become 'leaky'. If the bloom contains species that produce toxins, it will result in the release of toxins into the surrounding water. Once released, some toxins may persist for more than three months before they degrade.

Problems with blue-green algae

A number of environmental conditions need to be in place for an algal bloom to occur. These include sunlight, nutrients as well as weather and flow conditions that lead to separation of the water into layers, usually with a layer of warm surface water which does not mix with a colder deeper layer.

Blue-green algae possess gas pockets which prevent them from sinking so that they remain in the surface layer and can access the abundant light near the water surface, leading to rapid growth.

Potential risks

If blue-green algae multiply to high numbers, toxins may be produced causing health problems for people, domestic animals and stock that come into contact with the algae.

Contact with the algae by recreational users can be harmful. There have been reports of skin and eye irritations, nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness or cramps by some people who have swum through algal scum or swallowed it.

Blue-green algae blooms can cause:

  • harmful human health effects
  • death of livestock
  • domestic animals and wildlife
  • bad odours
  • fish kills
  • closure of water storages for drinking or recreational use
  • higher water treatment costs

 For the destruction of blue-green algae on the surface of the reservoir, I propose to use a microwave radiator mounted on boats, using the phenomenon of heating water-containing substances with electromagnetic radiation of the decimeter range, as in a microwave oven a radiator-magnetron is installed.

The concept of the process of destruction of algae occurs on the principle of dielectric heating of materials containing polar molecules.

The energy of electromagnetic (superhigh-frequency oscillations of microwave radiation) causes the motion of molecules with a dipole moment under the action of the electric field component, and intermolecular friction leads to an increase in the temperature of the material.

While the boat is moving along the surface of the reservoir, which is covered with a layer of algae on top, it is necessary to turn on the microwave device located on the boat (direct microwave radiation to the water surface), which must be cleaned of algae.

Microwave radiation entering the algae instantly heats the water in the middle of the plant, which will result in the algae dying from the high temperature inside the plant.

The depth of penetration of microwave radio waves into the heated object (algae) should be calculated depending on the size of the algae (the lower the frequency - the greater the depth of penetration into the plant) and depending on the depth of the treated layer of water.


Who will take these actions and which types of actors are involved?


Where will these actions be taken and how could they scale?

Ukraine, the United States, Canada, the European Union, Australia, China and the developing countries.


In addition, specify the countries where these actions will be taken.

Ukraine


Country 2

Canada


Country 3

United States


Country 4

China


Country 5

No country selected


Impact/Benefits:


What impact will these actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

Purification of the surface of reservoirs from blue-green algae (cyanobacteria).Restoration of biological balance in reservoirs. Reducing the amount of toxins in water bodies with blue-green algae. Improving the quality of drinking water.


What are the most innovative aspects and main strengths of this approach?

Purification of the surface of reservoirs from blue-green algae (cyanobacteria).Restoration of biological balance in reservoirs. Reducing the amount of toxins in water bodies with blue-green algae. Improving the quality of drinking water.


Costs/Challenges:


What are the proposal’s projected costs?


About the Authors

Author Kovalevich Olga Valerievna
Co-author Kovalevich Maksim Alekseevich

Ukraine
city of Krivoy Rog


References


What enabling environment would be required in order to implement this proposal?