Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016ND316B

Biopolymers for Phosphate Removal from Eutrophic Lakes

Institute: North Dakota
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2017-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $3,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $6,000

Principal Investigators: Achintya Bezbaruah

Abstract: Phosphorus is important for the growth of plants and microorganisms in most ecosystems. However, excess phosphorus in aquatic bodies leads to the overgrowth of algae and plant species and hence eutrophication sets in. There is another aspect of phosphorus. Phosphorus for fertilizer production is mined chiefly from select mines from Morocco, Western Saharan region, and China. Phosphorus is a nonrenewable resource and a recent assessment showed that natural phosphate deposits will last for approximately 60-240 years and global phosphate production will fall short of demand by ~2033 Therefore, there is a technological need for removing phosphate from water bodies and recovering it for beneficial uses. The objectives of the proposed research are: 1) To investigate the phosphate sorption characteristics of iron cross-linked alginate(FCA) beads; 2) To identify the sorption and desorption mechanisms; 3) To determine the feasibility of using FCA beads in eutrophic lakes' reclamation; 4) To evaluate the FCA beads for phosphate removal from wastewater and animal feedlot effluent; and 5. To measure the bioavailability of sorbed P for possible reuse in agriculture.