Growing algae in wastewater provides sustainable biofuels production without competing with agriculture for land, and offers nutrient remediation services for wastewater treatment. The researchers have been growing naturally-occurring filamentous algal communities in wastewater but want to know more about the bacteria found in these communities. The team is interested in questions such as how these bacteria might promote or hinder algal growth, roles of bacteria in uptake and processing of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus products of the algae, and organic compounds within the wastewater. The aim of this project is to learn about the community nutrient transformations under wastewater growth conditions. The data will help provide insights into applied processes for scaling up of algal cultivation in wastewater – both for biofuels production, and nutrient remediation. The information will also provide interesting perspectives on functional dynamics within complex communities with both eukaryotic and prokaryotic composition.
Proposer’s Name: Erica Young, University of Wisconsin