Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Renewable hydrogen production becomes reality at winery

07.10.2009
The first demonstration of a renewable method for hydrogen production from wastewater using a microbial electrolysis system is underway at the Napa Wine Company in Oakville. The refrigerator-sized hydrogen generator will take winery wastewater, and using bacteria and a small amount of electrical energy, convert the organic material into hydrogen, according to a Penn State environmental engineer.

"This is a demonstration to prove we can continuously generate renewable hydrogen and to study the engineering factors affecting the system performance," said Bruce E. Logan, Kappe professor of environmental engineering.

"The hydrogen produced will be vented except for a small amount that will be used in a hydrogen fuel cell." Eventually, Napa Wine Company would like to use the hydrogen to run vehicles and power systems.

Napa Wine Company's wastewater comes from cleaning equipment, grape disposal, wine making and other processes. The company already has on-site wastewater treatment and recycling and the partially treated water from the microbial electrolysis system will join other water for further treatment and use in irrigation.

"It is nice that Napa Wine Company offered up their winery and facilities to test this new approach," said Logan. "We chose a winery because it is a natural tourist attraction. People go there all the time to experience wine making and wine, and now they can also see a demonstration of how to make clean hydrogen gas from agricultural wastes."

The demonstration microbial electrolysis plant is a continuous flow system that will process about 1,000 liters of wastewater a day. Microbial electrolysis cells consist of two electrodes immersed in liquid. Logan uses electrode pairs consisting of one carbon anode and one stainless steel cathode in his system rather than an electrode coated with a precious metal like platinum or gold. Replacing precious metals will keep down costs. The wastewater enters the cell where naturally occurring bacteria convert the organic material into electrical current. If the voltage produced by the bacteria is slightly increased, hydrogen gas is produced electrochemically on the stainless steel cathode.

The demonstration plant is made up of 24 modules. Each module has six pairs of electrodes.

"The composition of the wastewater will change throughout the year," said Logan. "Now it is likely to be rather sugary, but later it may shift more toward the remnants of the fermentation process."

The bacteria that work in the electrolysis cells will consume either of these organic materials.

The project is supported by Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., The Water Environmental Research Foundation Paul L. Busch Award and other donors. Brown & Caldwell, an environmental engineering consulting firm, was contracted to build the demonstration plant. The Napa Wine Company is donating its facilities and wastewater for the demonstration.

A'ndrea Elyse Messer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'
23.01.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht Researchers identify a protein that keeps metastatic breast cancer cells dormant
23.01.2018 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>