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Algae Cleans Wastewater in Virginia

algaebloomThe city of Hopewell, Va., has launched a new algae demonstration project at the Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility to help clean its river water, reports Progress-Index.com.

Because excess algae is a problem for Virginia rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, local government officials decided if the algae could be used in a controlled environment, the city could benefit from it, reports Progress-Index.com

The goal of the nine-month project, constructed by Algae Wheel of Indianapolis, is to determine if this cost-saving and green approach to nutrient removal can treat all of the city’s wastewater, according to city officials, reports Progress-Index.com.

An associated by-product benefit of the project is that it produces bio fuel and green coal from the algae residue, reports Progress-Index. Treatment with algae also results in less greenhouse gas emissions, while using less energy, according to the article.

The plant’s first algae unit currently treats 30 million gallons of wastewater daily. A second new unit will process about 100,000 gallons daily, reports Progress-Index. The city has applied for federal stimulus grants to pay for both units, according to the article.

The U.S. Departments of Energy and Agriculture recently selected 19 biorefinery projects, including an algae project, to receive up to $564 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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