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$1.5 million trial to clean sewage in New South Wales

The test process halved aluminum and copper levels in the wastewater and removed 80% of iron, 70% of manganese and 90% of zinc. Most importantly, we have reduced the bioavailable form of nitrogen to almost zero.

“They are very easily taken up by algae and waterway plants,” James said.

Workers harvest the resulting hair-like clumps oidgonium Spin it into a “fluffy green cloud” and compost it or use it as a rich fertilizer for nearby native plant nurseries.

under the microscope oidgonium The filament resembles a green straw. This simple structure allows the macroalgae to grow rapidly (14 times faster than he in sugarcane), and unlike surface-floating species, oidgonium Forms a net that traps contaminants throughout the water column.

Pacific Bio has collaborated with James Cook University to develop the Algae Atlas, a catalog of useful macroalgae, seaweeds and seaweeds. They were instrumental in selecting species for the NSW trials.

“The macroalgae that are doing the heavy lifting in Picton are actually from the Picton area, which is very important because we want to use local species,” said Sam Bastunas, Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Bio. ‘ said.

The macroalgae used in the trial are locally growing, fast-growing freshwater weed species.credit: Nick Moa

Northern Queensland’s Bardekin Shire Council is providing Ayr with Australia’s first macroalgae bioremediation, using Pacific Bio’s process called RegenAqua, described by Professor Tim Flannery as “a game changer to the health of the Great Barrier Reef”. building a plant.

Fish and shrimp farmers are also using this process to clean up their farm waste in Queensland.

The small Picton trial is the first of its kind in NSW. Continued success may allow the process to be scaled up to handle more water.


This process is slowed down in the winter due to reduced light and cooler temperatures, but James says the macroalgae perform better than other technologies, such as expensive and energy-intensive membrane treatments. It is said that

“We use macroalgae to act as traditional factories and membrane reactors,” says Bastunas.

“Sydney Water shows that we can do this in temperate as well as tropical climates, which is very exciting.”

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/the-1-5-million-trial-aiming-to-purify-nsw-s-sewage-water-20230503-p5d55a.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw $1.5 million trial to clean sewage in New South Wales

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