Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2020AR110B

In Situ Harmful Algal Bloom Mitigation: Net Design to Enhance Coagulation and Photocatalytic Degradation Mechanisms

Institute: Arkansas
Year Established: 2020 Start Date: 2020-03-01 End Date: 2021-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $20,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $28,944

Principal Investigators:

Abstract: Harmful algal blooms (HABs) and their associated cyanotoxins that are produced cause negative environmental, water quality, and human health impacts. No treatment approach currently exists that can treat both HAB cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins without a pump-and-treat requirement or negative environmental impacts. This research focuses on an innovative in situ approach based on the concept of a catalytic fishing net that is retrievable and reusable. Research results during our initial work over the past year demonstrate that titanium dioxide nanoparticle catalysts cause HAB cyanobacteria deactivation through a flocculation mechanism. The cyanotoxin microcystin-LR is removed by titanium dioxide through UV light activated catalytic degradation. The identification of the dual flocculation-catalytic degradation mechanism motivates the proposed direction for this proposal: a study of how the net web design (i.e., web spacing, polymer fiber type, and TiO2 loading) affects HAB/toxin removal. This study will include water sampling and testing of HAB/cyanotoxin contaminated water from Lake Fayetteville in Fayetteville, AR, where we will use ELISA immunoassays to evaluate the microcystin levels of water samples and demonstrate simultaneous removal of HAB cyanobacteria and released cyanotoxins.