Scientists at Old Dominion University are experimenting with growing algae in sewage waste for biodiesel. Sounds like a good way to make fuel while also eliminating a problem.
The tanks are up and running and the slime is growing nicely – thick and green, just the way algae should be.
Friday was a good day to be on the roof of the local sewage plant, where scientists from Old Dominion University were all smiles as they inspected their promising experiment for turning algae into biodiesel fuel.
And it could help eliminate water discharges of the nutrients that are harming waterways.
The timing could not be better. Virginia, like its neighboring states, is under pressure to reduce nutrient pollution now choking the Chesapeake Bay, and much of the excessive nitrogen and phosphorus comes from sources that include factories, slaughterhouses and sewage plants.
So, conceivably, the ODU technology could kill several birds with one stone. Nutrient-rich wastewater from agriculture, industry and municipal sewage could be piped to and purged at algae-growing stations. Biofuels could be produced. And less nitrogen and phosphorus would enter the Bay.