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  • Pilot-Scale Optimization: Research on Algae Flotation Techniques (RAFT)

    Abstract: The impacts of harmful algal blooms (HABs) on US national waterways continue to cause significant economic and environmental damage. Researchers at the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) successfully demonstrated the Research on Algae Flotation Techniques (RAFT) project at pilot scale. This study was designed to show that the surface concentrations of algal biomass can be effectively increased with near linear scalability utilizing the natural methods by which some algae entrap air within excreted mucilage for flotation. The surface concentration of cyanobacteria measured as phycocyanin pigment increased by six-fold after RAFT flocculation treatment. Further optimization of chemical delivery systems, mixing, and dissolved air exposure will be required before full scale readiness.
  • Rapid Algae Flotation Techniques

    Abstract: Some harmful algae produce mucilage or extracellular polymeric substances useful for flotation. This study evaluated natural polysaccharides to determine effects on algal flotation with DAF. Food-grade gums (xanthan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, gellan gum, and diutan gum) were tested with cyanobacteria cultures singly and in combination with commercial flocculants (including Tramfloc 222 and Tramfloc 300). Gum arabic alone had no effect when evaluated at concentrations between 10 mg/L and 5,000 mg/L. However, the combination of gum arabic and Tramfloc 300 yielded higher algal flocculation than Tramfloc 300 alone. The combination of xanthan gum (anionic) and guar gum (cationic) did not perform at the level of the combined xanthan gum and Tramfloc 222 in either flocculation or flotation of algae. Tramfloc 222 and xanthan gum; however, yielded effective flocculation seemingly resistant to changes in interfering factors such as turbulence, pH, and temperature. Furthermore, the combination of xanthan gum and Tramfloc 222 provided the most effective flotation and flocculation independent of pH effects. The results suggest that anionic polysaccharides can be used to increase the efficacy of cationic coagulants such as Tramfloc 222.
  • Chitosan as a Coagulant and Precipitant of Algae Present in Backwater

    PURPOSE: : The purpose of this technical note (TN) is to highlight the current state of knowledge of algal flocculation by chitosan and identify data gaps existing between specific algal characteristics and chitosan binding efficiency. Published relationships and correlations between the quality of backwaters and the prevalence of algae, a baseline for flocculation efficiency of microalgae, and ideal treatment instances for algal removal by way of chitosan flocculation and precipitation will be identified.