Thursday, 20 September 2018

BioLargo Spotlight: Pharmaceuticals in Water


Diseases are treated and cured with man-made chemicals every day – it’s a fact of life. However, scientists and public officials have long be concerned with the question: what happens when those chemicals (pharmaceuticals) come in contact with a healthy person? As is often the case in science, the answer is: well …. It depends!

When a human or animal consumes pharmaceutical products (PPs), what happens to them? These substances are excreted, disposed from the households through sewers and released into the aquatic environment. PPs are an important group of potential endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) which have recently attracted much attention of the international scientific community. PPs such as analgesics, antibiotics, antiseptics, hormones and antidepressants were detected in influents of wastewaters treatment plants, in surface water, in ground water and even in drinking water resources across the world. Their occurrence and persistence in the aquatic ecosystems can lead to an adverse impact on human life and aquatic systems. Research has shown that PPs may mimic or alter endocrine system pathways, potentially leading to forms of gene alteration (Boberg et al., 2010; Verlicchi et al., 2012). Once in the environment, pharmaceutically active PPs can produce a wide variety of subtle effects on aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Thus, it is crucial to develop efficient and cost-effective treatment technologies for removal of such compounds from water.

Pharmaceutical products (PPs) are a large and diverse group of compounds designed to prevent, cure and treat disease and to improve health. The prevalence of their usage is increasing constantly due to numerous factors such as the discovery of new diseases, the expanding population, the inverting age structure in the general population, and expiration of patents and the consequent availability of less expensive generics. The annual production volume of drugs has been estimated to be several hundreds of tons. (Martinez et al., 2011; Halling Sorensen et al., 2011).

Examples of pathways for pharmaceuticals to enter the environment





Trace concentrations of human and veterinary pharmaceutical compounds and metabolites have been detected in surface water, groundwater, and drinking water even after going through water treatment including conventional physical and biological treatment processes. Wastewater treatment plants are not yet efficient in removing these micropollutants (PPs) from wastewaters so they are released to the environment. Several pharmaceutical products cannot be oxidized even during conventional biological treatments. Other treatment technologies such as membrane processes are being increasingly implemented in water treatment because these technologies combine process stability with an excellent effluent quality. However, factors such as the cost of treatment, the tendency for membranes to foul, and for pollutants to accumulate in the reject stream are major issues for this technology.

Currently, efforts are directed toward environmentally friendly, less expensive, relatively simple and efficient technologies that can oxidize persistent organic pollutants. BioLargo’s Advanced Oxidation System (AOS) has been successfully demonstrated for oxidation of emergent organic contaminants such as PPs. The preliminary investigation conducted by the research team of Centre Des Technologies De L’Eau (CTE) using the AOS was very promising. The AOS has proved to be an efficient treatment tool for municipal wastewater (MWW) loaded with pharmaceutical pollutants such as Carbamazepine (CBZ), Ibuprofen (Ibu) and Amoxicillin (Amox). The contribution of the AOS to remove PPs from MWW exceeded 95%. Funded by the Canadian ARD NSERC grant, BioLargo and CTE researchers are optimizing the AOS technology for an efficient treatment of MWW loaded with PPs. This project aims to establish the economic and environmental interest of the AOS process for the treatment of persistent organic compounds such as PPs. 


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Tuesday, 18 September 2018

BioLargo Spotlight: BioLargo's Newly Redesigned Website!


Today we launched BioLargo’s updated website! Replacing the company’s original (and sorely outdated) website, the new page uses modern web design tools and assets, making it a huge aesthetic and functional upgrade. You can find the website at the same URL – www.biolargo.com. We encourage our followers and shareholders to explore the new site and see the improvements for themselves.














We are very excited about the new site, as it represents a big improvement to the company’s digital presence. BioLargo is a fast-moving and dynamic company with many high growth potential assets and business units, and its online presence must be of a standard befitting our exciting and important portfolio. We think this new website represents a significant step toward that goal.

You can comment on our new website on Twitter at @BioLargo – we’d love to hear from you!


What is a BioLargo Spotlight?

It’s an exciting time at BioLargo. We’re moving fast, and it can be difficult to keep our stockholders and the investing public informed of our progress. In light of this, we will be posting a series of short articles titled “BioLargo Spotlight”, highlighting certain business activities and other important information in between our required SEC filings. Of course, these do not replace our public filings, which contain more complete information than can be delivered in this forum, and thus we urge you to carefully read and rely on those filings for definitive information, and to review our risk factors and caution regarding forward-looking statements. We are optimistic about our business as we work hard to continue to grow and ultimately generate profits for our stockholders.  

Legal Disclaimer

Our attorneys remind us that while we believe these developments are important and that these small victories could add up and lead to big victories, at this stage they do not rise to the level of an official material disclosure. As the size and magnitude of these developments become material, we will naturally report that information in an 8-K and our regular SEC filings.



Thursday, 13 September 2018

BioLargo Spotlight Blog Post: BioLargo Water’s Science and Engineering Team


Some time ago, we introduced readers of our blog to Kenneth Code, the inventor of BioLargo’s Advanced Oxidation System (AOS) technology as well as BioLargo’s other iodine-based technologies, and gave readers some insight into his vision and his methods. Today we want to introduce the other senior science and engineering team members who are hard at work to drive the development of the AOS towards commercialization. The AOS is a highly innovative and powerful novel technology for cost-efficient water treatment. Understandably, it’s also incredibly complex. It takes a very talented, bold, and tireless group of people to push an technology such as the AOS from the invention phase all the way to piloting and commercialization, and we’re proud to say our crew can easily be described as such.

There are many different aspects to the AOS development project that require diverse skill sets. The AOS is a powerful water disinfection device, and therefore experts in microbiology and disinfection are needed. It also has capabilities in breaking down hard-to-treat organic contaminants, and therefore chemical engineering specialists are needed. It is also a complex electrochemical device, and therefore expertise in cutting-edge electrochemistry is needed. And obviously, the AOS is a dynamic feat of physical design and engineering, and therefore design engineering and fluid dynamics expertise is required. All these facets of the AOS necessitate a very diverse team – and that’s what we have.

Meet the BioLargo Water science and engineering crew:

Richard Smith, PhD – President

Dr. Smith oversees research and development efforts at BioLargo Water. Richard also has over ten years of experience as the Research Development and Industrial Relations Coordinator at the University of Alberta Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences, where he oversaw the administration of grants totaling over $10M. Dr. Smith received an MSc in Veterinary Microbiology, a PhD in Viral Immunopathology from the University of Saskatchewan, and he completed his post­doctoral fellowship in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Alberta. Dr. Smith has over 15 years of experience in industry, having worked with several Biotech Companies in Alberta, including ChemBioMed, Alberta Reseach Council, AltaRex and VirRexx. In 2003, Dr. Smith joined the University of Alberta as Co­ordinator, Research Development & Industry Relations for the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science (AFNS) where he assisted academics with research development and program funding. In Dr Smith’s free time, he enjoys skiing, hiking, and expanding his horizons with travel.

Laura Patterson-Fortin, PhD – Senior Water Disinfection Research Scientist and co-Chief Science Officer

Laura received a PhD in Microbiology and Biotechnology from the University of Alberta and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Florida. Laura has over 10 years’ experience in the fields of molecular biology and microbiology using innovative techniques to study bacterial responses to their environment. She also has extensive biotechnology product development experience. Laura now leads BioLargo Water’s research and development of the disinfection capabilities of the AOS, and has been responsible for countless projects that resulted in improvements to the AOS and/or and expanded understanding of how it works. Dr. Patterson-Fortin is also an avid skier, soccer player, and runs in her free time.

Ahmed Moustafa, PhD – Senior Water Decontamination Scientist and co-Chief Science Officer

Dr. Ahmed Moustafa is an environmental engineer and has +10 years of experience developing water treatment technologies. He has been integral to the development of the AOS technology. Ahmed is a Senior Research Scientist, leads the BioLargo Water Decontamination research and development team. He was a Fulbright scholar in his time at Penn State University and was awarded the Alberta Ingenuity in Nano Technology grant toward his PhD at university of Alberta. While he’s not working, Dr. Moustafa enjoys soccer, archery, reading, and running.

Jenny Boutros, MSc – Senior Research Scientist

Jenny Boutros is an Engineering Research Scientist at BioLargo Water and joined the company in 2016. Jenny plays a key role in the design and development of the Advanced Oxidation System (AOS) through prototype design and development, testing, scale-up, as well as supervising a team of very talented young scientists. She holds an MSc. in Chemical and Materials Engineering from the University of Alberta with a focus on Thermodynamic Modelling, and a BSc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Balamand. She also has experience in techno-economic modelling, grant writing, as well as 3D modelling and fabrication. Jenny also served as a managing member of the Lebanese Red Cross – Koura Division for 2 years and is an accomplished musician and composer.

Parastoo Pourrezaei, PhD – Senior Research Scientist

Dr. Parastoo Pourrezaei is a Process Development Engineer specializing in water and wastewater treatment processes. She completed her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and pursued environmental engineering for graduate studies. During her PhD in environmental engineering discipline at University of Alberta, she completed a research project focusing on physico-chemical treatment technologies for oil sands process-affected water remediation. She has more than 2 years experience working as a process engineer in training at Canadian Natural Resources Limited-Horizon Oil Sands site dealing with major projects in the field of process water, tailings, mining, and extraction processes. She joined BioLargo Water in September 2015 and her research goals include the investigation of the AOS reactor’s capabilities in the removal of organic constituents from contaminated waters and wastewaters. In her spare time, Dr. Pourrezaei enjoys working out, hiking in the beautiful rocky mountains (when not covered in snow), and watching movies.

What is a BioLargo Spotlight?

It’s an exciting time at BioLargo. We’re moving fast, and it can be difficult to keep our stockholders and the investing public informed of our progress. In light of this, we will be posting a series of short articles titled “BioLargo Spotlight”, highlighting certain business activities and other important information in between our required SEC filings. Of course, these do not replace our public filings, which contain more complete information than can be delivered in this forum, and thus we urge you to carefully read and rely on those filings for definitive information, and to review our risk factors and caution regarding forward-looking statements. We are optimistic about our business as we work hard to continue to grow and ultimately generate profits for our stockholders. 
 
Legal Disclaimer

Our attorneys remind us that while we believe these developments are important and that these small victories could add up and lead to big victories, at this stage they do not rise to the level of an official material disclosure. As the size and magnitude of these developments become material, we will naturally report that information in an 8-K and our regular SEC filings.

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