In New York state, wastewater treatment lagoons have the potential to serve as a local energy source, according to a Clarkson University doctoral student. Stefanie Kring, an environmental science and engineering Ph.D. student, has discovered the potential biofuel content of microbes that live in local wastewater treatment lagoons. Kring regularly visited the Canton, N.Y., aerated wastewater treatment lagoons during a summer research project.
She found the sunlit 8.5 acre lagoons full of planktonic (free-floating) organisms. “These were the same types of organisms that we would normally see in any lake, river or pond nearby, except that here the biomass was much, much higher,” said Biology Professor Michael Twiss, who served as Kring’s doctoral thesis supervisor.