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.
3. Progress Report
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. Consultations were conducted on the design, construction and operation of a planned pilot-scale Algal Turf Scrubber (ATS) system to be located at a nursery site in Ft. Pierce, Florida. Several meetings occurred to discuss the on-going operation of the pilot-scale ATS at the U.S. Horticulture Research Lab, Picos Farm site in Ft. Pierce. Progress was monitored through direct involvement in field activities, meetings with collaborators, telephone calls and email communication.