Harmful Algal Blooms

Testing Ultrasound to Mitigate Harmful Algal Blooms





The Weavers Research Group is investigating the use of low power ultrasound for the mitigation of harmful algal blooms in reservoirs.  Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are a challenge that utilities across the country face and pose a significant threat in Ohio. Ultrasound is a physical reservoir management strategy that may be an important bloom prevention and mitigation strategy with over 10,000 installations worldwide. Ultrasound is a low energy technology that does not require the use of chemicals, such as algaecides, and potentially could kill cells without releasing their toxins. In this study we are evaluating the effect of a commercially available ultrasonic device on HABs.


Testing Nano-Bubble Ozone to Mitigate Harmful Algal Blooms


We are also studying an emerging HABs mitigation technology, nano-bubble ozone technology (NBOT). Ozone is a powerful oxidant and has been used for decades in drinking water treatment, whereas nanobubble treatment is a newer innovation that provides much higher surface area for gas exchange and much longer bubble lifetime than traditional ozone technology. A benefit of the combined approach is the potential for ozone to persist for longer periods of time in the water column, more slowly diffuse, increase the production of hydroxyl radicals, and provide increased reaction times with potential contaminants. In this project, we are working with a group of researchers to characterize a water body before and after installation of NBOT in a water body. Our part of the project is to understand the fate of ozone and nano-bubbles.  We are working both in the laboratory and in the field.