"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 reports about: > Renewable Energy Outlook 2030 > agricultural wastes > electrical energy > environmental engineering > fermentation process > hydrogen gas > hydrogen production > microbial electrolysis system > organic material > stainless steel > wastewater using > winery > winery wastewater
Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed
18.01.2017 | American Chemical Society
127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2017 | Life Sciences