Economic analysis of alternative applications of an algal production system
Weber, Michelle Marie
Kangas, Patrick C
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A variety of different best management practices are being studied to reduce nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. The algal turf scrubber<super>TM</super> (ATS) effectively removes nutrients from Bay waters in experimental trials but there is no large-scale applications in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The purpose of this project was to conduct an economic analysis of the ATS technology to determine the feasibility for nutrient removal across the Bay landscape. Baseline data for the analysis were extrapolated from several small-scale experimental trials of the ATS. The analysis included scaled costs along with benefits from nutrient trading credits, bio-product values of biofuel production, oxygen from photosynthesis and fertilizer value of nutrients taken up in algal growth. Six operating scenarios were analyzed through various cost analyses. The results indicate that the ATS technology can be economically viable under certain conditions and can be complementary to other best management practices for restoration of water quality in the Bay.