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Algae treatment

Algae treatment

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Other name/s

Algae ponds, High Rate Algae Ponds (HRAPs), Bioremediation using macroalgae


The cultivation and subsequent harvest of freshwater or saline macroalgae provides a way to sequester and remove nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) as a component of the biomass of macroalgae.

The algal biomass removes the nutrients and the harvested biomass can be used for various bio-products of value, such as energy, oils, fertiliser, soil amendment and stock feed.

Macroalgae is usually cultivated in a mechanical treatment system.

The bioremediation system is robust, deals with high and very low nutrient regimes including variable loads and has been tested in various freshwater waste streams. A strength is the ability to quantify the nutrients removed and to deliver end-use value of these nutrients and the biomass offsetting the cost of treatment[1]. Its use in agriculture systems like cane and horticulture has not been demonstrated.

The main services that Algae treatment provides include:

  • Water treatment (nutrients)
  • Reuse of by-products

HRAP ponds. Source: Queensland Government
Algae harvesting. Source: Queensland Government


In addition to the standard disclaimer located at the bottom of the page, please note the content presented is based on published knowledge of treatment systems. Many of the treatment systems described have not been trialled in different regions or land uses in Queensland. The information will be updated as new trials are conducted and monitored. If you have any additional information on treatment systems or suggestions for additional technologies please contact us using the feedback link at the bottom of this page.


  1. ^ Cole, AJ, de Nys, R & Paul, NA (2015), 'Biorecovery of nutrient waste as protein in freshwater macroalgae', Algal Research, vol. 7, pp. 58-65.

Last updated: 5 October 2018

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2018) Algae treatment, WetlandInfo website, accessed 13 May 2021. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science