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The GreenTech Project: CO2 and wastewater become a resource

Categorie EnergyEN

GreenTech s.r.l. gives an innovative solution to a problem of current importance: the emission of CO2 in the atmosphere. The company founded by the PhD Engineer of the Marche Region University of Technology Matteo Moglie and Giulio Sartori, now lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, has been concerned with the study on microalgae from the very start.

Microalgae are, in fact, unicellular photosynthetic organisms that use the environmental CO2 to synthesize a vast range of interesting molecules, like triglycerides used in the biodiesel production, or other molecules with nutraceuticals effect, like carotenoids or omega-3 long-chain fatty acids.

Their high productivity, along with the fact that microalgae grow in sterile culture mediums at decreasing prices, support the more and more crescent demand for some of the abovementioned molecules. All of those elements make microalgae very interesting for their potential applications in fields such as fine chemistry, nutraceutics and medicines production.

The idea of the team is that to use wastewaters such as zootechnical ones or vegetation waters (waste from oil production) as a nutrient for the algal biomass. Algae need light, CO2 and nourishment constituted by nitrogen and phosphorus of what zootechnical wastewaters and vegetation waters are naturally rich.

Particularly, algae have proved to be excellent in the removal of nutrients, organic contaminants, heavy metals and pathogens in domestic wastewaters. The oxygen produced during the photosynthetic process allows the oxidation of organic pollutants, while the alkaline pH obtained from dense algal cultures determines the precipitation of phosphates and heavy metals. The treatment of wastes could be an answer to the reduction and disposal of the 150 million tons of liquid and solid waste of different nature produced yearly by Italian zootechnical company.

 

Thanks for the article to GreenTech s.r.l. Engineers:

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