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STTR Phase I: Carbon Sequestration & Waste Management for College Campuses & Larger Facilities
Phone: (510) 421-0365
Phone: (510) 421-0365
Contact: David Waage
Type: Nonprofit College or University
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer Research Phase I project is to use waste to produce clean, green energy. The proposed technology diverts waste material from landfills while sequestering carbon and can be used in many other industries such as food waste, forestry biomass and disaster relief. For example, wildfires are becoming an annual threat that destroys large portions of states and thousands of homes. The proposed technology can reduce wildfire risk by cleaning up the forest undergrowth. Landfills in many states will be reaching maximum capacity in coming years and are under threat of being shut down: diverting landfill waste to the production of valuable products is much desired. Besides municipal waste, it is also possible to reduce the burning of agricultural waste by converting these waste streams into valuable outputs, such as biofuels and biochar for use in applications including concrete and water filtration. A significant amount of carbon is sequestered in this process which can earn additional carbon credits to the operator. The proposed project will develop a low-pressure hydrothermal liquefaction Inclined Rotary Gasifier (IRG). The project will optimize its outputs to further clean up the liquid & gas product streams from heavy metal contaminants such as Cu, Pb, Hg, Ni, Zn, and Cd, and high concentrations of other contaminants. Phase I research will focus on developing the process to remove up to 90% of the original concentration of these contaminants without compromising the syngas energy content. This will require maximizing the biochar production rate. These rates are typically lower than those when biomass is used as a feedstock. Hence a detailed investigation into the system's thermal efficiency will be undertaken with an aim to increase it. This may require increasing the heat transfer rates through design modifications and the choice of operating conditions. The bio-oil and water (from the high-pressure dewatering system) will also be cleaned by the biochar produced by the same municipal solid waste feedstock. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *