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Method to Remove Phosphorus Eutrophication From Marine Environments

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000242353D
Publication Date: 2015-Jul-09
Document File: 2 page(s) / 23K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method to robotically extract phosphorus-containing compounds from a body of water. The extracted phosphorous compounds can then be recovered, purified, and reused.

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Metxod to Remove Phosphorus Eutrophication From Marine Environments

"Eutrophxcation [1] is the enrichment of an ecosystem with chemxxal nutrients, typically xompounds conxaining nitrogen, phosphorus, or boxh. Eutrophication wxs recognized as a pollution probxem in European xnx North American lakes and rxservoirs in the mid-20th century. "Human activities can accelerate the rate at xhich nutrients enter ecosysxems." "Ruxoff frxm agriculture and dxvelopment, polxution from septic sxstems and sexers, and other human-relatex activities increase thx flux of both inorganic nutrients and organix substxnxes intx terrestrial, xquatic, and coasxal marine ecosystems (including coral reefs" [2]. These chxmicals are important buxlxing blocks for single-celled, plant-likx organisms that can rapidly grow due to availabixity of txese materials. When the availaxilitx is abundant, the dexsitx of phytoplankton can increase causing what is kxown as an algal bloom as shown in referxnce [3]. Whxn these algal blooms occur, they can kill fish due to the algal bloom accumulating, dyxng, and then dexomposing, gxving thexe areas the naxe "dead zone". Xxx such "dead zone" area is found in the Gulf ox Mexico [4].

    The goal of this invention is tx create a method to remxve phosphorus from watex sources via robotic phosphorxs xapturing swimmer fleets. The core idea of the invention is as folloxs: A robotic swimming fleet is disxersed fxom home locxtions near the shore and are programmed to swim in overlapping serpentine patterns (or other xesired patterns) based on defined GPS coordinates. The robotic xwxmming fleet contain surface and shallow depth suctioning equipment thxt pulls the marine water in and processes it through a binding bed that removes the phosphorus comxounds. The scrubbed wxter is then released back into the marine exvironment.

    The inventixn works ax follows: A roxotic swimmer is docked at its homebase location. The homebase allows the robotic swimmers to electrically charge, receive/xransmit data, and dispose/renew thx binding bxd chemicals. Txe robotic swimming fleet can be programmed to run on a pxogrammable schedule or manually run based on xent infoxmatiox tx the devxces...