Cleantech company Carbonxt Group Ltd (ASX:CG1) has successfully completed recent laboratory tests deploying new Activated Carbon (AC) Pellet formulations to prevent the propagation of Florida red tide algal blooms.
The tests were designed to assess the effectiveness of Carbonxt’s new AC Pellet formulations in killing the algae responsible for red tide algal blooms, while simultaneously removing its toxins without causing any long-term harm to the ecosystem.
The results of the testing showed significant promise with 100% of the algae being killed within two hours of exposure. Conducted under lab conditions, Carbonxt Novel algaecide/activated carbon composites were capable of killing 100% of the algae at dosage levels of 0.5g/L and above in under two hours.
In addition, a further variation of this AC pellet formulation combined with a different algaecide showed immense promise in achieving a near 100% elimination at a much lower dosage rate of 0.1g/L. Further development of these various pellet formulations and more comparative tests assessing the recently developed Carbonxt formulas are to be undertaken.
In collaboration with the world-renowned Mote Marine Laboratory, the tests were aided by a US$100k government grant, supporting the development of an activated carbon mitigation technology for use throughout Florida’s waterways.
Ongoing support from Mote Marine Laboratory and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is a significant endorsement of the AC Pellet technology.
Collaborative efforts are continuing with a planned scale up of field-testing to take place, with the first phase to determine the most effective delivery system in large scale aquariums.
The final phase will see a full-scale test carried out in an estuary to demonstrate the effectiveness of the technology in eliminating red tide algal blooms in large scale ocean environments.
As well as Red-Tide algae, we are working on pellets to remove algae in freshwater environments. With an annual estimated cost of $2.2 billion to the US economy, freshwater eutrophication occurs when water becomes progressively enriched with minerals and nutrients causing excessive plant and algal growth.
The link between eutrophication and Florida red tide events are well documented as are the widespread environmental, economic, and public health problems they cause. Economists at the University of Florida determined tourism revenue losses of $184m following the 2018 red tide bloom.
Managing Director, Warren Murphy, said further studies of red tide events also reveal a damaging effect on human health, with increased diagnoses of pneumonia (19%), gastrointestinal illnesses (40%) and respiratory illnesses (54%) being recorded, and combined medical/lost income costs exceeding $22m. Research revealing an average of $22m dollars in medical expenses and lost income occur during red tide events.
The environmental and economic impact caused by red tide agal blooms is widespread and devastating. With these positive test results, we are one step closer to providing a viable and environmentally friendly solution to mitigating the blooms and the damaging effects they cause,” Mr Murphy said.
“With continued backing from Mote Marine Laboratory and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission we will progress and scale up the next phases of test work to commercialise the AC Pellet technology. The research and development efforts by the team have been amazing as we are set for entry into what is a very large and lucrative new global market.”