A team from the University of Idaho led by Greg Moller, “The University of Idaho Clean Water Machine Team,” has been named to the top 10 contenders in the George Barley Water Prize, a $10 million worldwide competition to find a solution to the algae crisis. The team emerged from an initial field of 104 competitors from 13 countries.
The Barley Prize is a multi-year, $10 million international incentive award to the team that develops a safe, cost-effective technology to remove phosphorus from water. Phosphorus, contained in urban and agricultural runoff and used widely in chemical fertilizers, is a principal cause of algae.
The University of Idaho’s “Clean Water Machine” applies a multi-disciplinary approach that includes chemistry, biology and engineering to the challenge of cleaning water, allowing them to generate “out-of-the-box” solutions, Greg Moller said. Because water filtration and cleansing is part of the natural process, the team looked to the same natural solutions to the treatment of wastewater.