Closing Loops

Our integrated platform efficiently closes the carbon, water and nutrient loops while providing valuable municipal services and energy products.

Closing the Carbon Loop:

•    Converting CO2 from the air into carbon negative fuels.
•    Capturing CO2 from powerplants to make carbon neutral fuels.

Closing the Water Loop:

•    Treating wastewater to membrane-level standards, at a cost below conventional technologies.
•    Proving the ability to capture and reuse clean water otherwise flushed downstream and out to sea.

Closing the Nutrient Loop:

•    Capturing the valuable nitrogen, phosphorous and other nutrients lost in wastewater flows.
•    Growing algae on captured nutrients from wastewater that would otherwise cause deadzones.
•    Reusing and reapplying the nutrients to agricultural land, replacing more costly fertilizers.

Currently, the prevailing paradigm for wastewater processing is to partially cleanse raw sewage streams using expensive wastewater processing facilities, then continuously release this nutrient-laden effluent into watersheds and oceanic ecosystems, via injection wells or direct outfalls.

This practice causes major problems for our aquatic ecosystems. Eutrophication, or oxygen depletion, of aquatic ecosystems worldwide gives rise to alarming and expanding “dead zones,” such as the massive region in the Gulf of Mexico, where the majority of the wastewater effluent from the entire Mississippi watershed is emitted as an effective point source. This practice of “open-loop” release of massive amounts of nitrogen and other nutrients is the root cause of the large algae blooms and subsequent decay of algae causing the eutrophication.

Algae Systems’ technology can put an end to this damaging process, by capturing the effluent wastewater streams and harvesting the algae grown on them, to be converted into fuel, fertilizer and other valuable products, while releasing into the ecosystem only gaseous oxygen and clean freshwater. In this way, Algae Systems’ “technology ecology” closes the loop on freshwater and nutrients, thereby supporting a healthier functioning of Earth’s natural closed-loop ecological life support system, by effectively harnessing the existing problem of algal blooms that currently cause dead zones worldwide.

The prevailing fossil fuel-based energy production paradigm is similarly flawed. The practice of extracting carbon-rich fossil fuels from the deep Earth and burning them for energy is an open-loop system that leads to the release of vast amounts of atmospheric CO2. By feeding the algae CO2-rich flue gas from fossil fuel-based energy production, we can produce carbon neutral fuel. Feed the algae CO2 sequestered directly from the air, and the Algae Systems technology suite enables the production of truly carbon negative fuel, effectively closing the carbon loop.

Algae Systems’ vision is to receive these so-called waste streams — nutrient-laden wastewater and CO2 — for conversion into the resources we need for the future we want.