Microalgae Nursery Under Very Controlled Environmental Conditions

Powell Water Microalgae System (PWMAS) Lagoon Optimization Description

Patent Number: US 10,358,361 B2 Issued to:  Scott Wade Powell

 Powell Water Systems, Inc.   PWMAS

The PWMAS provides lagoon aeration via microalgae (biological oxygen generators) that greatly improves wastewater treatment compared to both non-aerated lagoons and aerated discharging lagoons and can be done at a much lower lifetime cost compared with surface aerators.   A robust and diverse community of microalgae is used for aeration of a wastewater lagoon. Unlike the cyanobacteria that forms a surface mat on lagoons and lakes, the microalgae utilized by the PWMAS, disperses evenly within the lagoon, thus providing 100% available oxygen for microbes to remove the incoming waste product –also known as biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5). Every structure and supporting equipment included in the PWMAS is used to maximize the growth of the microalgae and microbes; therefore, maximizing overall wastewater treatment. The PWMAS includes a systems control facility for the production and distribution of site-specific microalgae and microbes. The following is a description of the major components of the PWMAS.



Systems Control Facility

A microalgae growth center is built near the primary lagoon to house the site-specific microalgae and microbe growth incubators. The system control center provides a protected environment with spectrum-specific light designed for season-specific and site-specific microalgae growth. Optimally, the growth tanks will receive light for approximately 22 hours per day, either by sunlight or targeted light spectra.

The growth tanks receive water from the local municipal water supply.  This water is filtered to remove any particulate matter and residual chlorine that may be harmful to the system equipment and/or microalgae.

In addition to the lighting, microalgae are supplied with nutrient-specific microalgae food for optimal growth.  Immersion heaters are installed to maintain the optimal temperature for microalgae growth.  The microalgae/microbe-laden waters from the growth tanks is continually gravity-fed to a common collection tank and then distributed to the primary lagoon.

A site-specific mixing system and multiple weighted pipelines evenly distribute the microalgae/microbes throughout the lagoon.

The continual introduction of microalgae from the system control facility ensure that a high concentration of oxygen is maintained in the lagoons.

The mixing system can be powered by solar panels connected to a set of batteries.


Electrocoagulation (EC)

System Redundancy

During times of upset conditions in lagoon systems such as ice, illegal dumping of pesticides, fats, oils, and grease (FOG), electrocoagulation is used to ensure towns and industrial lagoons are kept in compliance during these upset times. Electrocoagulation (EC) is also added as the final disinfection step in the PWMAS process, eliminating chemical/UV or other disinfection processes. Electrocoagulation is effective in removing 99+% or a 4-log removal of fecal coliform as well as a high removal rate of pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and viruses.

What is Powell Water Systems  Electrocoagulation?

  • electro– apply an electrical charge to water
  • coagulation– process of changing the particle surface charge, allowing suspended matter to form larger particles
  • advanced and economical water treatment technology.
  • removes suspended solids to sub-micron levels
  • breaks emulsions such as fats, oil and grease
  • oxidizes and eradicates heavy metals from water without the use of filters or the addition of separation chemicals
  • direct current is applied to the first and last blade.
  • the liquid then becomes a conductor, allowing the current to pass freely throughout the chamber.
  • results in a flood of electrons into the water, neutralizing charged particles, causing them to precipitate out of solution.
  • the metal blades react to the current by releasing charged metal ions that act like chemical coagulants.

The Powell Water Systems will have the ability to produce economical and sustainable wastewater treatment anywhere in the world.

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Contact Information:

Powell Water Systems, Inc.

System Control/Microalgae R & D, Judd Sundine, 720-363-0548

System Operator, Jeff Couch, 970-231-9937

System Owner PWMAS, Scott Powell, 303-241-2489


Powell Water Systems, Inc.

Summary of Contaminant Removal Efficacy

Utilizing Electrocoagulation Technology








Revised and Copy Right 2020