Title: lab manager – biologo
Association/Company: Teregroup Srl
Dr. Lutzu is an environmental biologist with decades of experience in the field of environmental biotechnology. Graduated in Biological Sciences at the University of Sassari and with a PhD in Engineering and Environmental Sciences at the University of Cagliari, he deals with the development of renewable energies, reuse of industrial wastes and production of compounds with high added value of interest for the food and pharmaceutical industry through the study of microalgae.
After a long experience abroad as a researcher at universities and research centers in Canada, China and the United States, since 2018 he returned to Italy where he continues his research activity at Teregroup Srl in Modena that operates in the field of algal biotechnology.
He has to his credit 25 publications in international journals and participation in national and international conferences.
On the use of Oklahoma native microalgae strains for hydraulic fracturing wastewater remediation
Hydraulic fracturing technology is widely used for recovering natural gas and oil from tight oil and gas reserves. Large volumes of wastewater are generated during this process. Produced water is considered wastewater by the regulators, hence, need to be treated or disposed accordingly. This study examines algal treatment of produced water by eleven Oklahoma native microalgae strains and flowback water by thirteen strains consisting of cyanobacteria and green algae. Wastewater quality before and after algae treatment was evaluated. Algal biomass grown in produced and flowback water was characterized for its volatile matter, fixed carbon and ash contents. The experimental results demonstrated that microalgae can grow both in produced and flowback water. The chemical composition of the algal biomass obtained both in produced and flowback water was strain specific. Cyanobacteria SP47 exhibited the highest high heating value and fixed carbon among the strains examined in this study. Over 60 % total dissolved solids, 100 % nitrate and phosphate, and over 95% boron reduction in flowback and produced water could be achieved. Hence, algal treatment of produced and flowback water can significantly reduce the adverse environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing technology and produce biomass that can be converted to bio-products such as feedstock for biodiesel production.