Wastewater algae provides double benefits — biofuels and disposal

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Rice University scientists found they could easily grow high-value strains of oil-rich algae while simultaneously removing more than 90 percent of nitrates and more than 50 percent of phosphorous from wastewater.The 2012 report also pointed to wastewater-based cultivation as a potential way to make algae production sustainable.According to Environmental Protection Agency, nutrient pollution from excess nitrogen and phosphorous—the two primary components of chemical fertilisers—is “one of the most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems. Wastewater treatment currently has no cost-effective way to remove large volumes of nitrates or phosphorous from treated water, so algae production with wastewater has the potential of solving two problems.