Team:Charlottesville RS/Project/Applications


Revision as of 14:18, 20 June 2014 by Ingamename (Talk | contribs)

Moores Creek Wastewater Treatement Plant

The Moores Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is managed by the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority. The purpose of the water treatment plant is to use bacteria to purify waste water so it can be released into Moores Creek. Bacteria are used to process the waste and purify the water. However, these bacteria require nourishment, so every year the plant purchases $250,000 worth of glycerine in order to feed these bacteria. Our idea is to use genetically modified E. coli to produce a bioplastic called PHB, which the bacteria that purify the waste water could consume for energy, and thus save the city up to $250,000 on the Moores Creek WWTP and potentially apply to other WWTPs as well.


In Albemarle County, Virginia, a large amount of wastewater flows to and is processed by the Moores Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Each year, the plant spends 250,000 dollars on glycerin, which is used as an energy source by specific bacteria in the sewage to denitrify the water. Denitrification of the effluent from the wastewater must occur to remove nitrate from the wastewater and thus, prevent eutrophication in the Chesapeake Bay. The UVa iGEM team from 2008 created a part which, when added, enables E.Coli to produce polyhydroxybutyrate, a biodegradable, bio-derived plastic. Our project is to make E.Coli that produces this plastic The water treatment plant could then add the engineered E.coli to the wastewater where the E. Coli would produce and secrete polyhydroxybutyrate into the water., The denitrifying bacteria in the wastewater would then be able to use this plastic as an alternative energy source for denitrification saving the water treatment plant 250,000 dollars per year, as well as giving them a renewable energy source for their plant.