Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Using Ultrasound to Control Toxic Algal Blooms

08.07.2010
University of Adelaide researchers are investigating the use of ultrasound as an environmentally friendly and cheaper alternative to controlling blue-green algae in our fresh water supplies.

In collaboration with water industry organisations including SA Water, the researchers are starting a three-year project to find the best process for using ultrasound in large volumes of water to combat this significant world-wide water quality problem.

Chief Investigator Dr Carl Howard, from the University’s School of Mechanical Engineering, says researchers will be testing different amplitudes and frequencies of ultrasound.

“We’ve already shown in laboratory tests that ultrasound is effective at neutralising blue-green algae,” says Dr Howard.

“We know it works but we don’t yet know the best frequencies, amplitudes and duration for the most effective, economic and efficient process.”

Blue-green algae (or cyanobacteria) can affect health and causes other water quality and environmental problems when it accumulates and forms ‘blooms’ in fresh water. It is currently controlled by the application of chemical treatments.

Dr Howard says ultrasound – at high amplitudes – is used for treating sewage and in other chemical processes but hasn’t been practical for fresh water treatment. Ultrasound at high amplitudes breaks down the cell walls of the blue-green algae, releasing toxins into the water.

“The novel part of our solution is that we will be using ultrasound at low amplitudes where it immobilises the blue-green algae without releasing its toxins into the water and with lower energy input,” Dr Howard says.

The researchers propose mounting ultrasound generators inside large underwater columns containing mixers which will draw the water through for treatment as it flows past.

The main industry partner, SA Water, has been working with University of Adelaide researchers over the past 15 years on a range of chemical and water circulation techniques in reservoirs and the River Murray to help tackle this problem.

The project has been granted $400,000 under the latest round of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme.

“This project is an innovative and exciting development in this area of research which has the potential to provide many benefits to drinking water supplies both locally and nationally,” says SA Water Biology Research Leader Associate Professor Mike Burch.

Other industry partners are Melbourne Water Corporation, United Water International Pty Ltd, Water Corporation of WA and Water Quality Research Australia.

Media Contact:
Dr Carl Howard
Senior Lecturer
School of Mechanical Engineering
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8303 3469
carl.howard@adelaide.edu.au

Dr Carl Howard | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.adelaide.edu.au

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Structured light and nanomaterials open new ways to tailor light at the nanoscale

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

On the shape of the 'petal' for the dissipation curve

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Clean and Efficient – Fraunhofer ISE Presents Hydrogen Technologies at the HANNOVER MESSE 2018

23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>