The floating
aquatic fern “Azolla,”
magnified 80X

Water purification. Biofuel. Natural fertilizer. 30% edible protein. Precious oxygen in outer space. And nearly the fastest growing biomass of any plant. All made from a few inches of water and air.

We develop green solutions using the Azolla “superplant” for better agriculture, ecosystem remediation, carbon capture, and more. Worldwide.

one plant,
many
powers:

Water
purification

Azolla‘s heavy appetite for nitrogen, phosphorus, and heavy metals quickly removes these pollutants from water it grows in, leaving behind much cleaner water. The shade created by a layer of Azolla also eliminates algae and the liver-damaging and neurotoxic compounds that many algae produce.

Carbon
sequestration

Azolla’s extremely high top growth rates (doubling every 24-48 hrs) mean that the growing plants remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at high rates and trap the carbon in their new tissue. One hectare of Azolla can take up 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide in a year, and simply drying the plants will preserve this carbon indefinitely.

Green
fertilizer

because Azolla takes up high levels of nitrogen from air and phosphorus from water, harvested Azolla is rich in these nutrients, which are quickly released when Azolla is composted and added to soil, making a great low-tech replacement for synthetic fertilizers. Traditional uses of Azolla that simply add the plant to rice paddies can double rice harvest yields.

Biofuels

Azolla fronds contain 5-8% lipids, which are high-energy-content oils that can be processed to create biofuels. Because of Azolla’s extremely high yields, acre for acre, Azolla can produce more biofuel feedstock than soy or other land crops.

Livestock
feed

Azolla contains up to 30% protein with most of the essential amino acids. A nutritious feed for livestock, the soft, mild-flavored leaves are readily eaten raw by cattle, pigs, ducks, chickens, fish, and even shrimp. This makes Azolla a useful feed crop which even small farmers can grow in a small area using only a few inches of water, local soil, and dung.

Who We Are:

Our group expertise spans environmental and geological science, data science, design, and sci-comm on three continents, joined by an interest in using the “superplant” Azolla as a bio-based remedy for anthropogenic climate change and environmental damage.

What We Do:

We combine extensive field experience growing and promoting Azolla with expert carbon and energy accounting as well as cutting-edge design to develop scalable plans to deploy Azolla for sustainability worldwide.

 current projects:

Growing Systems

Azolla is easily grown in shallow ponds, rice paddies, even ditches, but a more controlled environment may be desirable e.g. for a pest- and pathogen free Azolla crop. We are designing and testing grow systems for greater flexibility in Azolla cultivation.

Azolla is easily grown in shallow ponds, rice paddies, even ditches, but a more controlled environment may be desirable e.g. for a pest- and pathogen free Azolla crop. We are designing and testing grow systems for greater flexibility in Azolla cultivation.

Agriculture Integration / Nutrient Waste Treatment

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO’s) house hundreds or thousands of animals together in tight quarters for greater efficiency of feeding and rearing. The massive amounts of waste produced by CAFO’s frequently escapes into waterways and landscapes that cannot process so many nutrients at once, causing mass fish deaths, disease outbreaks, and algal blooms.

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO’s) house hundreds or thousands of animals together in tight quarters for greater efficiency of feeding and rearing. The massive amounts of waste produced by CAFO’s frequently escapes into waterways and landscapes that cannot process so many nutrients at once, causing mass fish deaths, disease outbreaks, and algal blooms.

Modern industrialized agriculture creates enormous waste streams of animal feces and contaminated water that give off the potent greenhouse gases carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane, as well as disastrous nutrient and bacterial pollution of rivers, streams, groundwater, and oceans. Azolla can be harnessed to intercept these wastes from water before they generate further emissions or escape into the environment. We are developing grow systems that integrate Azolla into existing and novel farming practices to process waste into useful carbon sequestration, green fertilizer, and nutrient recovery schemes.

Novel feed / food animal systems

We are exploring Azolla as a novel feed for invertebrate “microlivestock” (crustaceans, insects, snails, and other invertebrates that can be cultured for human dietary protein), using crayfish as a model system that can be scaled to global production.

Pollutant removal

Aside from Azolla’s well-known ability to absorb nitrogen, phosphorus, and metals such as lead, iron, and zinc from wastewater, we are investigating Azolla’s uptake of other important organic environmental contaminants to determine whether Azolla bioaccumulation offers any advantage to existing remediation approaches.

Learn More:

Jonathan and Lexy Bujak have just released “The Azolla Story” (2021), a comprehensive reference for the history, uses, and future of Azolla as a versatile natural solution for pollution, agriculture, climate change, and more. Packed with stories, details, and 600+ references!

Learn More:

Jonathan and Lexy Bujak have just released “The Azolla Story” (2021), a comprehensive reference for the history, uses, and future of Azolla as a versatile natural solution for pollution, agriculture, climate change, and more. Packed with stories, details, and 600+ references!

Connect with Us:

 

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