Washington, D.C. – June 2, 2011 — Algaeventure Systems (AVS) was invited to testify at a Congressional Hearing on Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) on June 1, 2011 to discuss strategies for mitigating HABs in freshwater environments. AVS Chief Scientist Dr. Stephanie Smith addressed the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s Energy and Environment Subcommittee regarding a new piece of legislation that aims to develop a comprehensive national strategy for responding to and reducing HABs in coastal, marine and fresh waters.
HABs are increasing globally in both frequency and magnitude and pose a serious threat to human health as well as local economies that depend on afflicted waters for tourism, recreation and real estate revenue. A summer 2010 proliferation of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) in Grand Lake St. Marys, Ohio’s largest inland lake, caused the City of Celina $60-80 million in lost revenue, as well as several cases of human and animal illness.
Dr. Smith shared her extensive experience with freshwater HABs and AVS’ unique perspective as a developer of algal processing and remediation technologies to identify a number of key considerations in creating a HAB action plan. Among these considerations is the need to bolster the knowledge base and monitoring effort of freshwater HABs in inland lakes, as strategies for addressing marine HABs may not suit freshwater blooms.
A key point of Dr. Smith’s testimony was the need to increase responsiveness to ongoing freshwater HABs with a strong focus on not only monitoring and prevention, but also control and mitigation after a HAB has taken hold. To address this need, AVS is continuing to test and develop technologies that can have a significant impact on a freshwater HAB once it has proliferated in a lake environment. “Far more appears to be known about monitoring and prevention of HABs than about control and mitigation,” explained Dr. Smith, “addressing freshwater HABs will require a suite of technologies which must be developed at both the fundamental and applied levels.”
About Algaeventure Systems
AVS was founded in 2008 with a mission to take the cost barriers out of growing and processing algae, and in the process discovered a technology that will revolutionize dewatering and other solid-liquid separations. AVS has developed and demonstrated an innovative technology for separating suspended algae out of solution, which is universally understood as the most significant barrier in algae’s viability as an energy solution. Described by the ARPA-E as a “potentially transformative innovation…of the very highest scientific and technical merit,” the Solid-Liquid Separation (SLS) system (developed from the HDD platform technology) dramatically reduces energy costs of dewatering microalgae by 90%. Winner of a highly competitive $5.9 million merit award from ARPA-E, the SLS radically improves the economics of algae-based biofuel production, and removes a major barrier to large-scale commercialization of this renewable alternative fuel source. For more information about Algaeventure Systems, click here.
About the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment
The Subcommittee on Energy and Environment has legislative jurisdiction and general oversight and investigative authority on all matters relating to energy research, development, and demonstration and projects therefor, commercial application of energy technology, and environmental research, including: Department of Energy research, development, and demonstration programs. For more information about the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, click here.