Dr David Aldridge, from the Department of Zoology, and Dr Geoff Moggridge, from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, have invented an environmentally sound method of controlling zebra mussels. They call it the BioBullet and the research has been of great interest to the UK water industry, with four companies funding the research to date.
Zebra mussels are freshwater molluscs (up to 4 cm long) native to the Caspian and Black Sea region, which have invaded North America and Europe. The water supply and power generation industries are vulnerable to zebra mussels blocking intake pipes for water works or cooling water systems, costings billions of dollars per year in the United States alone. Zebra mussels also displace and kill many native species.
Now, following approval by the Drinking Water Inspectorate, trials have begun with Anglian Water Services Ltd to use the BioBullet in the UK for potable water systems. A new manufacturing site is under way for the pellets following an award of £500k by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), which is being match-funded by Anglian, Thames Water and Tastetech.
Full article in Research Horizons