ST. CLOUD TIMES — The clean up at Little Rock Lake may set the stage for an invasive species. But the lake’s defenders are ready to tackle curly-leaf pondweed if it flourishes there.
The Little Rock Lake Association and St. Cloud State University biology professor Matt Julius have a plan to harvest curly-leaf pondweed and turn it into fuel for a new anaerobic digester at St. Cloud State.
The digester has been years in the making, Julius said. And a generator is en route to complete the system.
It’s not just for curly-leaf pondweed.
The anaerobic digester will take food waste from St. Cloud State’s dining halls and break it down to create mulch and methane. The methane will be burned to produce electricity that’s returned to the grid for credit on the school’s energy bill, Julius said.
Julius hopes and expects to get a small grant to clean out curly-leaf pondweed from Little Rock Lake and measure the exact amount of nutrients removed. It could create a model for other lakes.