1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1) Research and develop constructed periphytic algal growth devices that are optimized for on-site nutrient farming utilizing retained water from farms and nurseries.
2) Research and develop value-added products from harvested algal biomass.
3) Research primary abiotic drivers on algal community structure to optimize algal species composition in relation to harvesting ease, value-added product quality and growth rates.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Lab-/Pilot-/Demonstration-scale ATS systems will be evaluated for algal biomass accumulation in relation to abiotic parameters. Primary drivers for biomass accumulation will be determined and experimentally manipulated as appropriate at each scale. Value-added products from biomass including, but not limited to, composted algae, animal feeds and biofuels will be evaluated as appropriate both in-house and with ARS cooperators.
This project is directly related to inhouse Objective #1: Determine the capacity, utility and sustainability of algal-based water treatment systems to remove nutrients and change chemistry of influent or effluent water resources under nursery production conditions and year-round horticultural production operations.
Composted algae can be used as an alternative substrate for the production of containerized floricultural nursery crops. This research is not a completed scientic effort, but initial observations show that woody nursery crops can be grown in composted algae without affecting plant growth or quality. This agreement will terminate this year per agreement with the collaborator.