Nclear is committed to making a recognizable difference in the world by providing a real solution to the issues of nutrient pollution, eutrophication, and toxic algae.
To restore nature’s equilibrium to the world’s water bodies
To establish Nclear as the world’s leading provider of nutrient removal technology
Nclear has developed a patented, non-toxic nano-crystal technology, TPX™, that addresses toxic algae and red tides by adsorbing and sequestering phosphorus, preventing the growth of harmful algae while also turning excess phosphates into a recoverable, renewable nutrient. TPX™ is an economical treatment solution that does not pose any toxicity or safety concerns. In addition, Nclear’s proprietary ElectrX™ technology addresses the nutrient pollution concern of nitrogen, by converting ammonia into harmless nitrogen gas.
The Problems Our World’s Water Bodies Are Facing
What Is Phosphorus?
Phosphorus is one of the primary elements needed to sustain all life forms. It is the structural backbone in DNA and RNA and a necessary nutrient for all life forms. Phosphorus is distributed throughout the body in the form of phosphate. Most of the body's phosphate is stored in the bones (approximately 85%) with the rest in other cells of the body. It is used for cellular metabolism, as well as the formation and strengthening of bones, teeth, and cell membranes. Additionally, as part of cellular metabolism, phosphates help orchestrate the release of oxygen from the hemoglobin which supplies the body with energy. Phosphates are absorbed by the intestines from dietary sources and the excess is excreted primarily through the kidneys and must be continuously replenished through dietary consumption. As the world population grows, so does the demand for phosphates for use as fertilizer. All food items contain phosphates, including vegetables, fruit, meat, and fish. The planet Earth only has a limited supply of phosphates, and phosphate cannot be synthesized or created by man. As we continue to mine this valuable limited element to satisfy population growth, we are depleting the world supply.
Problem 1: Depleting Sources of Phosphorus
Recent research indicates that the entire world supply and production of readily-mineable phosphorus could peak over the next 30 to 50 years. When this occurs, we could begin seeing an impact on global food production as fertilizer supplies cannot keep up with population growth, at least not without developing the means to mine phosphorus from the ocean floor. In the worst case, wars and famine could result if new sources of phosphorus or recycling methods are not found. Phosphate mining for the production of fertilizers and other food and industrial uses has been in existence for over 100 years, and each year the demand increases as the population continues to grow.
Problem 2: Eutrophication
Increased use of fertilizer and increased consumption of phosphates and nitrates create an imbalance in nature, as these nutrients eventually end up in our surface water bodies. Excess nutrients from fertilized agricultural crops eventually run off into our streams in rainwater. Additionally, accumulated animal waste from poultry and livestock runs into streams as well. All of the food we eat contains phosphates and nitrates. The body will retain what is needed, and the excess is excreted through our body waste. When these nutrients come in contact with water, they become soluble, making it very difficult and expensive to remove by wastewater treatment systems. As such, they eventually become discharged into our streams and rivers along with the treated wastewater discharge. The excess nutrients cause excessive algae and phytoplankton growth, resulting in a condition known as eutrophication.
Problem 3: Anoxia and Toxic Algae
Phosphorus is usually a limiting element for algae and phytoplankton growth and is thus one of the leading causes of eutrophication, toxic algae, and red tides. Concentrations of phosphorus have been increasing at accelerated rates over the past 100 years as population has continued to grow. Phosphorus concentrations in surface water bodies have become a critical problem in areas that are highly populated with people, livestock, and agriculture. Phosphorus removal from rainwater runoff and wastewater discharges must now be considered to protect our surface waters from eutrophication. Many methods to remove these nutrients have been, and continue to be, implemented with undesirable results. These methods are very expensive and can add soluble chemicals or heavy metals into our water bodies, which can cause other detrimental environmental issues or create toxins in the water.
Excess nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen in surface water bodies cause unnaturally high algae growth, blocking sunlight from reaching necessary plant life living beneath the surface of the water. This plant life dies and then decays. Then, naturally occurring bacteria begin digesting the decaying plant matter, depleting oxygen in the water and releasing methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide gases that rise to the surface and get released into the atmosphere. Aquatic life eventually suffocates and dies as a result of this lack of oxygen, known as anoxia. Additionally, these changes in water chemistry are often optimal for non-indigenous species of toxic algae to thrive. This invasion of toxic algae is occurring at an accelerated rate, leading to the production of cyanobacteria and increasing the risk of acute health issues in humans, land animals, and aquatic life.
Every year, more recreational lakes are closed to public access due to unsafe toxicity and, in some cases, massive fish kills and noxious odors. Additionally, there are increasing reports of livestock, pet, and wildlife deaths caused by consumption of contaminated water from eutrophic lakes. Excessive nutrients emptying from our rivers into estuaries, bays, and oceans are causing increased incidences of toxic algae and phytoplankton blooms, often referred to as red or brown tides. These blooms release toxic spores in the water and atmosphere, killing marine life and creating respiratory health issues for humans and animals, as well as food poisoning for those that eat contaminated fish and shellfish. In 2013, red and brown tides let to the highest number of manatee deaths that have ever been recorded for a single year in Florida history.
The Nclear Solution
It is for the reasons above that Nclear was founded. We are addressing all three problems with our technologies. Utilizing our ground breaking, patented nanocrystal technology, TPX™, and proprietary electrochemical technology, ElectrX™, we can make a recognizable difference in the world. Our TPX™ nanocrystal technology is the most cost effective end-to-end solution in the world today. Additionally, in some cases, phosphates can be recovered from our treatment processes and used as a low cost renewable phosphate fertilizer, thus helping to restore the imbalance of nature while bringing surface water bodies back to their natural ecosystem. The critical increases in eutrophication encourage additional funding for research for the solutions to remove, and potentially recover, phosphorus from surface water bodies, retention ponds, and wastewater sources.