How a common household chemical could kill algae safely

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Researchers are looking at any possible solutions to the algae crisis, even using something found right in your medicine cabinet.

We did a science experiment ourselves to watch how this sample of water with algae and hydrogen peroxide would behave – well we saw some interesting activity.Luka Ndungu is a Florida Gulf Coast University graduate student, studying possible solutions to our blue-green algae problem.

“First the study was conducted in europe and nobody has ever done it here in America. With this, we can try to eliminate this blue-green algae,” Ndungu said.

He’s testing the effects of pouring hydrogen peroxide on the algae. The same chemical solution you put on an injury, and Ndungu says it’s already in our water,”It’s naturally produced and it’s caused in three ways.”

He says algae, rainwater, and oxidation of the water already create the chemical.

We ran our own non-scientific experiment. First we took algae samples from the Caloosahatchee River and then mixed in this hydrogen peroxide.

After 15 minutes, the algae started to disperse.

If it works, Ndungu says this would be a more natural way to treat the algae.

Once hydrogen peroxide is degraded, the end product is oxygen and water which is friendly to our ecosystem

But, he’s still studying how much hydrogen peroxide the environment could handle before any negative impacts.

He hopes to bring his research back to his hometown in Kenya, where they also experience blue-green algae issues.

Luka started this research in the spring of 2017 and will continue to study the behavior between algae and hydrogen peroxide in Kenya.

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