Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

  • No news has been published yesterday.

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »

UK: Making use of brine wash for algae

Matt Davey and several other members of Alison Smith’s group have shown that algae can successfully grow on nitrates sourced from a local drinking water processing plant. Excess nitrates must be removed from ground water that is extracted for drinking, before being allowed into the public water supply. This nitrate removal process is expensive and results in large volumes of a high nitrate, salt solution called brine wash.

Davey and Smith investigated whether the removed nitrate could be used for growing algae, which in turn could be used for bioenergy. Experiments were carried out at laboratory and pilot scales at the Algal Innovation Centre located within the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. They studied which algal species were able to grow on the brine wash, what the optimal blend of brine wash and growth media is for algae growth and whether the origin of the brine wash affected how well the algae could uptake the nitrates. In small scale laboratory experiments, they found five marine algal species that were able to grow in liquid growth media containing nitrate sourced from the brine wash. Further experiments showed that three of those species could grow on the modified growth media in the larger experiments at the Algal Innovation Centre, with one species performing well even up to a 100 L bioreactor scale. As well as taking up the nitrate, the algal biomass could be used effectively in biogas production in small-scale trials. Our results suggest that it may be possible to derive value from nitrate brine wash as a sustainable source of nitrate for the bulk growth of microalgae.

  • Water industry brine wash was assessed as a nitrate source for microalgal growth.
  • Algae were unable to grow directly on the crude brine wash.
  • Algae could grow in growth media substituted with nitrate sourced from brine wash.
  • Algae could remediate up to 1700 mg nitrate at the 100 L bioreactor scale.
  • Brine wash could be a sustainable source of nitrate for algae after optimisation.
Source: University of Cambridge

Publication date: 7/9/2018



Other news in this sector:

7/20/2018 India: Israeli technology helps grow tomatoes in off-season
7/20/2018 Outcry in Germany for granted GMO subsidies to South European growers
7/19/2018 How to achieve better hydroponic germination rates
7/19/2018 Corn salad: a small, niche market
7/19/2018 Protection of resources and environment in spinach production
7/19/2018 "Even if robots are replacing human hands, they can't take over everything"
7/19/2018 UAE: Sweet tomatoes grown with no soil and less water
7/13/2018 Algeria: Growing barley in the desert
7/12/2018 The future of farming in Africa
7/10/2018 India: Centre of Excellence for Vegetables grows without soil
7/6/2018 UK: Manipulating growth rates at the plant scale
7/6/2018 Systemic cultivation can boost results in Chinese wall greenhouses
7/3/2018 UK: "Long-term water plans needed as temperatures soar"
7/2/2018 "Partnerships of paramount importance for Chinese horticulture"
6/26/2018 "Automatic gutter system ready for world wide distribution"
6/26/2018 Scientific proof of dissolved CO2 foliar spray plant benefits on lettuce
6/26/2018 How a cultivation test works
6/25/2018 New climate control techniques for modern agriculture
6/25/2018 "Filling the gap between large TOV and medium TOV"
6/22/2018 US (CA): Creating online training for organic specialty crop production