CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Biochemical carbon dioxide (CO2) water purification has been developed by Krebs & Sisler LP, a suburban Chicago energy research firm. It combines photosynthesis with photocatalysis to rapidly grow biomass while purifying wastewaters and salt water. The treatment method should produce potable water for half the cost of reverse osmosis (RO) in large continuous-flow volumes. The biomass is harvested.
CO2 is the storehouse for atmospheric oxygen. It is the resource for recycling both carbon and oxygen. This process employs high-rate photosynthesis to separate CO2. The carbon grows biomass and the oxygen is released to enrich the air we breathe.
In this process, salt water, sewage and industrial wastewaters are purified while biomass is produced by the concurrent use of photosynthesis and photocatalysis. Light emitting diode (LED) lighting and CO2 and balanced nutrients unite growing a biomass from species of algae such as Spirulina, which require CO2. The biomass growth rate in deep well-lighted enclosed cells is expected to exceed 100 times the natural rate because all factors related to culturing the algae can be optimized in this continuous hydroponic process.
Algae biomass absorbs minerals dissolved in water and also the minerals contained in organic and inorganic compounds when they are released by the photochemical action of photocatalysis. Photosynthesis purifies the water by mineral absorption given sufficient light, CO2, nutrients and time.
The resulting biomass is 50% carbon and may be dried for fuel, a farm animal feed supplement or human nutrient because of its high protein (60%) and carbohydrate (20%) values plus vitamin A, B and E content. The oxygen bound in CO2 is released to fortify the atmosphere for human and creature respiration and for fuel combustion.
Economical application depends on the availability of thousands of tons per day of low-cost CO2 and few such sources exist. Fortunately the recent development of oxygen combustion for power plants provides free CO2 for water purification facilities sited nearby and electric power will be produced with no troublesome emissions. One example of oxygen combustion is detailed in U.S. Patent No. 6,907,845.
CO2 water purification is the least-cost way to limit CO2 in Earth's atmosphere. Proposed costly deep underground sequestration is avoided by combining these new technologies, oxygen combustion and CO2 water purification.
Krebs & Sisler LP