HAB Mitigation Approach

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Cjohnston's picture
HAB Mitigation Approach


I was particularly interested in this project as it parallels our HAB mapping design at CSU. The combination of qPCR testing and aerial optical sensing were options we explored in our design but ended up going in a different direction. Nevertheless, this is a well-thought-out detection process for cyanotoxins. Furthermore, you have proposed a novel mitigation tactic for HABs, which is amazing! However, this is the process that I need a little clarification on. To my understanding, the intent is to use the magnetic photocatalyst nanoparticles to deactivate toxigenic cyanobacteria (ideally cyanobacteria capable of producing toxins but not doing so, yet) and adsorb phosphorus (a contributing nutrient to ABs). I understand that the nanomaterial is magnetic so it can be removed from the water to be reused, but so far this has only been demonstrated with water samples. While your mitigation strategy will be further developed in phase 2, I am curious if you have started brainstorming the water treatment process. In other words, how do you anticipate introducing the nanoparticles to and removing them from a water body (in-situ)?

Casey J.

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JLiu's picture

Dear Casey,
Thanks a lot for your comment. I am glad to hear your team is also working on HAB detection. Here at SIU members from both environmental engineering and geography are now working together to monitor lake waters using this combined molecular biology and aerial sensing method for HAB early detection. Thanks for supporting this new strategy. I hope your alternative direction for HAB mapping successful. You are right, our nanomaterials can inactive the cyanobacteria, and adsorb phosphorus, also if any cyanotoxin is released into the water body, the nanomaterial can also degrade it under sunlight. Thanks for your question for in situ application. We plan to design an automated flotation station that will carry the designed treatment system to the hotspot of HABs. The magnetic particles will be released in the treatment unit for water treatment, and then recycled by its magnetic property before water discharge. Hope this answered your question. Please let me know if you have further questions. Thanks for your interest in our project, and best wishes for your research and study at CSU!