Chemistry professor Kevin O’Shea is working with international chemists and environmental engineers to develop a new clean technology that will destroy water toxins caused by harmful algal blooms.
Algal blooms occur naturally. However, the occurrence of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms and the possibility of production of algal toxins (cyanotoxins) have caused problems in water treatment processes for decades. The increase of harmful algal blooms in estuaries and freshwater aquatic systems poses threats to wildlife, livestock and humans. O’Shea’s research is funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Conventional water treatment techniques can be costly and can produce toxic by-products and pollutants,” O’Shea said. “We are working on a solar powered water decontamination technique that will be more cost-effective and can have broader applications.”
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