Project Description

A synergistic combination of algal wastewater treatment, hydrothermal biofuel production, and fabrication of algal base nanomaterials.

The physical and chemical methods used for the generation of nanomaterials have various drawbacks such as high cost of production, requiring, high energy input and generation of toxic byproducts. To overcome these limitations, several bio-synthesis methods have been reported. Here we propose the use of wetland substrate leaching as a substrate for algal cultivation for the biosynthesis of nanomaterials as a cost effective, nontoxic, and ecofriendly alternative to traditional methods.

The long-term goal of this subproject is to test the sustainability of a novel environmentally friendly system for algal biofuel production that can simultaneously improve conventional wastewater treatment by nutrient removal and generation of high yields of biofuel and co-products that are useful in the synthesis of nanomaterials.

The alginate, carrageenan or ulvan from macroalgae will be used to generate nanopolysacharides that can be used in IRG 1 subproject 2 for the fabrication of functional membranes for water purification or for energy conversion devices.

After the extraction of algae bioproducts, the resulting biomass residue will be submitted to the HTL process, where four byproducts will be obtained:  wastewater (rich in nutrients could be reuse as algae fertilizer), bio-oil, biochar (could be activated and modified and used as catalyst support or in electrode fabrication), and a gas phase rich in CO2 and methane.