US Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer Research and Development Center

Harmful Algal Bloom Interception, Treatment And Transformation System - HABITATS

US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory
Published July 30, 2019
Updated: Aug. 14, 2019

The Harmful Algal Bloom Interception, Treatment, and Transformation System (HABITATS) demonstrates a scalable capability to remove algae and nutrients from large bodies of water, and develop a resource recovery method that enables efficient management of the resulting biomass. The Blue-algae that has been concentrated from lake water using a dissolved air flotation process falls from the treatment unit into a collection tank. search > ERDC HABITATS | Contact:


Develop and demonstrate a scalable capability to remove algae and nutrients from large water bodies, and develop resource recovery methods that enable efficient management of the resulting biomass.


A rapidly deployable system for mitigating large harmful algal blooms in an economically viable and sustainable manner.


2019 Milestones
  • Develop deployable system for intercepting algae upstream of a spillway.
  • Demonstrate clarification and dewatering processes that efficiently separate algae from water and concentrate the algae to > 15% concentration.
  • Destroy any microcystin in the clarified water and discharge to a nearby surface water body.
  • Generate biocrude oil from natural algae using hydrothermal liquefaction and confirm hydrothermal destruction of microcystin toxin in transformed biosolids (at bench scale).
2020 Plan

Pending continued funding through the ERDC Aquatic Nuisance Species Research program, tasks for 2020 shall include:

  • Perform an extended pilot scale HABITATS demonstration, to include a pilot scale hydrothermal liquefaction for management of algae waste on-site.
  • Develop shipboard capability for intercepting algae out on the open water.

Martin Page, Ph.D.
Linda Nelson, Ph.D.