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Super Algae – can they really save the day?

Donna Sutherland (University of Technology Sydney) gave a talk about Super-Algae – can they really save the day? at The Calyx on Tuesday, 12 November 2019, 11.00 - 11.45 am.

Algae have long been associated with aquatic pollution, with the presence of blooms, or slime, Donna Sutherlandoften an indicator of poor water quality. Excessive anthropogenic pollutants, in particular nutrients, trigger these blooms and result in a number of undesirable ecological consequences.

However, the very properties that allow algae to bloom are the very same properties we can exploit for natural bioremediation strategies for nutrient pollution, resulting in improved water quality, enhanced environmental outcomes and resource recovery, in the form of algal biomass, for beneficial re-use.

Algal-based pollutant treatment systems can cost-effectively and efficiently treat a range of pollutants, including nutrients, heavy metals and emerging contaminants and can be applied at a range of scales, across a range of environments. The algal biomass can be used for a range of products, including biogas, foods, pharmaceuticals, pigments, fertilisers, algal-plastics and apparel.