Why did we choose Rivers?

Rivers, as vital components of Earth's ecosystems, play a crucial role in global carbon cycling and climate regulation. Choosing rivers as the focus of our micro algae technology project stems from a recognition of their unique capacity to interact with and influence the carbon cycle. Rivers are conduits that transport carbon from terrestrial landscapes to the oceans, and they are also sites of carbon exchange and transformation.

Why do we need to remove Nitrogen and Phosphorous from rivers?

Nitrogen and Phosphorous are invisible pollutants that can cause harmful algal growth in rivers, leading to the death of fish and other animals. These pollutants can also lead to conditions that cause health issues in humans.

How do microalgae capture and remove pollutants and how can we measure it?

Microalgae are microscopic aquatic organisms that convert CO2 into biomass and oxygen using sunlight. Microalgae use nitrogen and phosphorus as nutrients for growth. After the microalgae grow, the cells sink, and algal biomass is deposited and accumulated in the riverbed. By sampling and measuring microalgae biomass, carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in the water and at the river sediments, we can determine pollutant removal efficiency.

Which are the effects of spreading microalgae directly in the natural ecosystem?

We only operate in polluted rivers using river-native species. Bioaugmentation with native species contributes to restoring the original dominance of native microalgae. We use neither genetic engineering nor invasive species. We mitigate eutrophication in water bodies through nutrient uptake by microalgae, attempting to protect biodiversity and restore water-related ecosystems.

I read about algal blooms in rivers to be harmful, is this a risk?

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are tha cause of a variety of ecological issues and HABs require nitrogen and phosphorous to thrive. We remove excess nitrogent and phosphorous from the water with native algal species that do not cause these ecological issues, reducing the prevalence of HABs.

What biotechnology did Liquid Trees develop? Are these patent families available to license?

We have developed a series of patent families related to microalgae-based pollution removal. These technologies are being used by projects in a variety of global markets. If you are interested in licensing these technologies, please reach out.

Do microalgae affect drinking water quality?

We improve water quality by removing pollutants from the water column. Additionally, most microalgae will sink to the riverbed without having a negative impact on drinking water quality.

What happens if diatoms are consumed by bacteria, zooplankton and other microorganisms?

Grazing is normal in any ecosystem, and it is necessary for ecosystem balance. The effect of grazing on diatoms varies and depends on each ecosystem. One important protection mechanism on diatoms is their silicified (mineral) cell wall that provides mechanical protection from grazers. Moreover, diatoms may have a defense mechanism against grazing releasing inhibitory compounds for zooplankton, thereby prolonging diatom blooms and reducing grazing pressure.

What is the potential of diatoms to outcompete other microalgae groups?

Diatoms have adapted over time to grow under a variety of environmental conditions which are often detrimental to other microalgae. Moreover, diatom dominance over other algae can be linked to their silica-based cell wall, which needs less energy to build than cellulose cell walls, resulting in a higher division rate. Diatoms a high nutrient uptake efficiency and a higher rate of nutrient utilization in comparison to other microalgae groups. In addition, the efficiency of light conversion into biomass is twice as high in diatoms. When analysing plankton–plankton interactions, diatoms emerged as the only group of phytoplankton with a large exclusion signal towards other planktonic groups, implying their ability to successfully outcompete congeners.

What are the benefits of Microalgae-based bioremediation?

· Cost Effective Technology.
· Improve Water Quality.
· Removal of Trace Pollutants.
· No waste generation and low environmental impact.
· Simplicity of operation and maintenance.
· Integrated into the landscape.
· Water Oxygenation.
· Recovery of degraded river-estuary systems
· Ecological, Social and Economic benefits for communities and local areas where the technology is applied.

Got any other questions?

Let us know and we will reach out ASAP!