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Development of the ICARUS Floating Membrane Photobioreactor for Direct Algae Cultivation in Wastewater
Wednesday, May 01, 2024, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM EDT
Category: AAEES Webinar Series

Development of the ICARUS Floating Membrane Photobioreactor for Direct Algae Cultivation in Wastewater

Webinar Info


Wednesday, May 1, 2024


Noon Eastern | 9:00 am Pacific


1 hour and 30 minutes (approximate)

Registration Fees:

FREE for All AAEES Board Certified Individuals, AAEES Members, and Student Members | $40 for non-members

Webinar Speaker

 Daniel Yeh

Daniel H. Yeh, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE, LEED AP
Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering
University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

Webinar Summary 

Wastewater has been identified as a sustainable source of water and nutrients for the cultivation of microalgae to produce biofuel and bioproducts. However, wastewater is a relatively "dirty" environment with chemical and biological agents which contaminate crop purity. Further, ubiquitous grazers such as rotifers can decimate crop yields. To address these issues, our team developed a cultivation method termed "Isolated Cultivation of Algal Resource Utilizing Selectivity (ICARUS)."

ICARUS is a membrane photobioreactor platform that can be used to cultivate algae monocultures by floating directly on wastewater (e.g., surface of clarifiers) or other impaired water bodies. A bottom membrane panel mediates the exchange of water, nutrients, and gasses between the wastewater and algae culture, while servicing as a physical barrier between the algal crop and undesirable bioagents in wastewater. Laboratory and field results have shown that ICARUS can achieve a high crop density using wastewater directly as a feedstock, while maintaining crop monoculture purity. Further, as the culture densifies, ICARUS can self-dewater to facilitate crop harvesting.

This presentation will chronicle the development of ICARUS from TRL1 proof-of concept to TRL4 field prototypes. In additional to deployment at municipal wastewater facilities, ICARUS can also be integration with aquaculture operations in a circular economy framework.

About the Presenter

Dr. Daniel Yeh is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida. He is also a visiting professor at NASA Kennedy Space Center. Dr. Yeh's research and teaching interests are in water & wastewater engineering, global water & sanitation, water/energy/food nexus, and life support systems for space travel. Dr. Yeh holds degrees from the University of Michigan (BS Natural Resources, BSE Civil Engineering and MSE Environmental Engineering) and Georgia Institute of Technology (PhD Environmental Engineering). Dr. Yeh is a professional engineer, an AAEES board-certified environmental engineer, and a LEED Accredited Professional.  Dr. Yeh served as the 2023 AAEES Kappe Lecturer.

Webinar Format

This webinar will include a moderated Q and A session following the speaker’s presentation. The session is open to environmental engineering and science professionals across all sectors and career stages. Our objective is to offer special insights on leading edge solutions for graduate and undergraduate students as well as early to mid-career environmental professionals who are considering specialty certification.

AAEES Board Certified Individuals: Attend this event and earn 1.5 PDHs towards your PDH requirements for maintaining your specialty certification.

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