Innovation at Work: Can algae be used to treat wastewater?

Across the U.S., wastewater treatment plants are looking for cost-efficient solutions to meet new state and federal water quality requirements. This includes lower thresholds for the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous that can be discharged into rivers and lakes. With the Revolving Algal Biofilm system, algae absorb nitrogen and phosphorus from the wastewater, and sunlight and carbon dioxide from the air. (Video by Ryan Riley/College of Engineering/Iowa State.) For more information on how Iowa State is innovating new ways to improve food safety, visit