Volga river cleaning project

Collaboration with Ecological Institute of Volzhsky basin under RAS (Russian Academy of Sciences) allows us for Volga river basin cleaning from abnormal volume of contaminating blue-green algae accumulated in Kuybyshev Reservoir. In 2016 we designed and constructed specifically equipped river vessel to collect cyanobacteria.This technology was practically implemented the same year.

Two great ecological challenges faced by Volga river is addressed by confronting abnormal volume of blue-green algae.First is to stop wide spread of flora and fauna diseases in Kuybyshev Reservoir and, second one, is to reduce seasonal downfall of the fish. Collected blue-green algae is being recycled in bioreactor. New generation of organic fertilizers is produced from collected stuff, it is being tested on experimental sown area.

Recycling of cyanobacteria in bioreactor let us simultaneously produce organic fertilizers alongside with bio oil. Bio oil is a raw material for different types of bio fuel and eco-friendly lubricants. The process of thermophilic fermentation of algae in bioreactor allows for biogas (methane) production on an industrial scale. Biogas is suitable for heat producing in the process of gas burn in boiler. It is also suitable for electricity production though gas generators. Therefore, 3 perspective directions should be seen in the course of Volga cleaning project.

1. Building up a group of river vessels to clean Volga

Possibility of multifunctional use was initially founded in the river vessel construction by BTK company engineers. If necessary, this vessel can be used to extinguish fires, eliminate emergencies, clean water bodies from technical garbage, monitor ecological situation. Moreover, vessel may be additionally equipped with techniques to collect household rubbish present at bays and creeks or on the water surface.

Thanks to such universality, modest group of small river vessels is capable of solving completely different in its nature ecological and safety tasks. Fundamental improvement of Kuybyshev water reservoir's ecology and launch of organic fertilizers and bio oils production on industrial scale are possible with just 8 universal ships, collecting green-blue algae at the sufficient volume.

2. Production and use of organic fertilizers made of alga (waterweeds)

Recycling of the collected in rivers blue-green algae is being done with help of special anaerobes in the process of thermophilic fermentation in biochemical reactor. Such technology used for recycling of cyanobacterias helps to build up an effective wasteless fertilizers' production cycle.

We create new samples of organic fertilizers and elements for soil restoration from recycled aglae in collaboration with Samara State Agricultura; Academy. We test them on different agricultural crops. It is also important that produced from algae fertilizers securely DO NOT contain any nitrates, nitrites, pathogenic organisms and weed's seeds.

Application of fertilizers received with the help of bioreactor contributes to increased harvests and plants' protection from diseases and drought. Fertilizers, produced in the process of thermophilic fermentation of blue-green algae, improve soil structure and further the restoration of exhausted soils.

Under the impact of rains and seasonal Volga floods, each year part of the fertilizers inevitably washed away from the fields with the soil and they get into the river. Thus, mineral fertilizers which get into Kuybyshev Reservoir continually aggravate ecological problems of the Volga river. This is why it is also important to use organic fertilizers which are safe for waters in difference to mineral fertilizers.

Hence, the production and application of organic fertilizers on sown areas will let recreate the soil, increase harvests and solve the problem of choking up by harmful chemicals the Volga river.

3. Production and use of biofuel from waterweeds

Exploitation of biochemical reactor in the process of thermophilic fermentation of blue-green algae allows for simultaneous production of agricultural fertilizers along with bio oils (raw material for biofuel and eco-friendly lubricants). Recycling technology for algae let us produce 2 types of biofuel based on bio oil: 4th generation bio diesel - for Ground-based transport and agricultural machinery; and Bio kerosene - for avia engines.

Another side-product possible due to the work of bioreactor is bio gas (methane). 1 m3 of collected blue-green algae let us produce up to 200 m3 of methane. Production of qualitative biogas on industrial scale allows for using it as a fuel, for agricultural techniques or as a source of heat and energy for farms.

Energy produced with the help of biofuel decreases carbon dioxide emissions into atmosphere by 90% in comparison with the use of traditional fossil fuel types. The use of biofuel of own production allows for autonomy and high energy effective production. After unfolding biofuel production, the group of small river vessels for Volga cleaning, and cargo equipment for transporting collected cyanobacteria from berth to recycling place, they will work on 4th generation bio diesel.

Thus, building up a group of river vessels for Volga cleaning, production and application of organic fertilizers and biofuel will assist in improvement of Kuybyshev Reservoir ecology and agricultural areas around reservoir. Moreover, the realization of Volga cleaning project will increase an economic effectiveness of agriculture in the whole Samara region.

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