Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Biostructures for water purification

While water engineering helps protect land against flood and erosion, the concrete constructions involved disrupt the regulation of water flow, creating a nonliving zone, which results in the extinction of necessary fauna and flora. The lack of such necessary organisms reduces the biotic potential of water by eliminating the process of biological self-purification, which can in turn create a haven in which invading exotic species such as the Zebra mollusc can flourish.
Biostructures for water purification
Conventional chemical and mechanical means for the elimination of invading species are harmful and are not cost-effective. Thus, the designing of biological barriers has offered a safer and pro-ecological means to purify polluted water through the use of three-dimensional structures that mimic coral reefs. The biological barriers act as a filtration system by drawing in nitrogen and channelling out oxygen through the use of air compression in combination with a molecular sieve separator, which collects and pockets the wastes.

Diffusers provide pressurized gases beneath the barriers. Flushing inflow water with nitrogen creates oxygen absence in the cooling system and rids the water of invertebrates and their larvae that are attached to the barrier structure. When the outflow water is oxygenated, it replenishes the necessary biotic balance in the surrounding water body.

The tested Biostructures have demonstrated an improvement in durability and a reduction in cost while also having positive buoyancy and they can send water in any direction desired. Taking these benefits into consideration, Biostructures may well be the innovative method used for tertiary treatment as well as lake restoration in the future.
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