The library has booked a presentation that we are very excited about. You may remember the algae blooms that have occurred in recent summers on Utah Lake. A professor at UVU, Dr. Kevin Shurtleff will be presenting some of his research on harmful algal blooms. Come join him at 7 pm on Thursday, February 22 in the Storytelling Wing of the Library. I am including the abstract Dr. Shurtleff submitted about his presentation below. Thanks for your interest.

“Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are a serious environmental issue worldwide. HABs occur when water conditions (temperature, solar insolation, nutrients) foster rapid growth of cyanobacteria (blue green algae) and other microalgae. When microalgae reach high concentrations, incoming sunlight is blocked, preventing photosynthesis. This results in microalgae death, releasing endotoxins that contaminate the water. The purpose of the microalgae harvesting project at Utah Valley University is to design and build a direct microalgae harvesting boat that can be deployed on Utah to prevent future HABs, reduce nutrient load in the Lake, and ultimately produce a carbon-neutral biofuel.

Schematic diagram of full-scale, direct, microalgae harvesting boat deployed on a lake. Courtesy of Kevin Shurtleff

“My research students and I have designed, built, and tested five lab-scale, microalgae harvesting technologies. Each of these technologies required modification to work in a floating harvester configuration. We tested the effectiveness of each technology at removing low concentrations of microalgae from water, collection efficiency over time, and capital and operating costs. The test results enabled us to determine the technology best suited for full-scale operation. We are currently designing and building a full scale, microalgae harvesting boat, implementing the selected harvesting technology. The goal is to deploy the prototype microalgae harvester on Utah Lake in June of 2018.”

Also here is a biographical sketch about Dr. Shurtleff:

“Dr. Shurtleff received a PhD in physical chemistry from Brigham Young University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Marriott School. He has been an assistant professor of chemistry at Utah Valley University for 6 years. In that time, he has mentored over 58 students as they performed research on recycling used motor oil, renewable, wind, solar, and river compressed air electricity generation, and now microalgae harvesting and clean air technologies. Before UVU, he spent 25 years in industry, taking technologies from the laboratory into the marketplace. He has been working in energy for the past 20 years. Dr. Shurtleff is a serial entrepreneur. He has started five companies based on technologies he developed: MicromistNOW – fast inhalable products, Mountain West Energy – enhanced oil recovery, Trulite – hydrogen fuel source, Synexus – portable, integrated fuel cell system, and Peak Semiconductor – gallium arsenide crystal growth. He is married to Jane Loftus, a UVU professor of math. He has 7 adult children, and 6.5 grandchildren. He has lived in Orem for the past 25 years.”


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