Corps tests new technology turning blue-green algae into fuel

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne
Published: Updated:

A group many criticize for causing the water crisis now has an idea to help end it and use it to our benefit.

Ted Dobrie has seen the water in front of his Moore Haven home on good days and the bad.

“This year, it seems to be much less of an issue than it was last year,” Dobrie said. “You’ll see big patches of it floating along that get caught in the weeds in front of the house, you know, you’ll have an odor in the morning when it’s very still out, it’s not a pleasant odor.”

The Army Corps of Engineers is trying to get to the bottom of harmful algal blooms. The Corps will use technology to separate water from nutrients and algae, then process it and return the water to the lake better than it was before.

Erica Skolte, who works with the Army Corps of Engineers, told WINK News it is considering using that algae as a biofuel.

“It’s a win-win, sounds like to me,” Skolte said. “You know if they can clean up the lake and then create a biofuel out of it, I mean, what can be wrong with that?”

To do this research, starting Wednesday, the Corps has to increase target flow releases from Lake Okeechobee. The releases are needed to create movement in the water to capture algae.

In the meantime, Dobrie is content with what he is seeing.

“The fish seem to be more active, I’ve caught more fish this year than I did last year,” Dobrie said. “So I think it’s an improvement all the way around.”

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