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Zero-Waste (ZeWa) water and energy recovery system

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: 68HERC21C0035
Agency Tracking Number: B201B-0022
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 20-OSAPE-1B
Solicitation Number: 68HERC20R0111
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-03-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-08-31
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 3560
Durham, NC 27702-3560
United States
DUNS: 080679255
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Tate Rogers
 Owner and Principal
 (336) 414-0252
Business Contact
 Tate Rogers
Title: Owner and Principal
Phone: (336) 414-0252
Research Institution

Triangle Environmental proposes the Zero-Waste (ZeWa) water and energy recovery system; a netenergy positive onsite wastewater treatment system to eliminate brine and produce three output streams for reuse.

Aging sewer infrastructure coupled with a growing population and sewer demand in the US have fostered a shift to higher usage of onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS). In the US, decentralized wastewater systems are used in 25% of existing residential homes and 33% of new development. The revenue for the OWTS market is growing as well, which was projected to nearly double from 2010 ($2.35 billion) to 2020 ($4.57 billion). Although becoming more prevalent, OWTSs are either very basic (i.e. septic tanks) or utilize technologies that create concentrated brine and/or sludge streams which require occasional emptying & transport via vacuum truck, and further treatment at wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The proposed ZeWa system seeks to not only eliminate these brine streams, but capture the high energy content they contain and convert them to high-value onsite reuse products. By optimizing all reuse potential of wastewater, ZeWa can shift black- and greywater treatment nationally to net energypositive while offsetting energy costs across the municipal water & wastewater, septage, and agriculture sectors.

The ZeWa system is an onsite black- and greywater treatment technology that maximizes the chemical energy potential contained in wastewater to produce zero-waste and three valuable output streams: a. clean water for non-potable reuse, b. concentrated fertilizer for local nutrient supply, and c. Class A biosolids for local soil amendment. The ZeWa system consists of three subsystems; 1. sludge treatment and energy recovery subsystem (STERS), 2. water recovery subsystem (WRS) and 3. nutrient recovery subsystem (NRS). The team already possesses functional prototypes of the WRS and NRS for testing. The key innovation and primary goal of Phase I is the development and testing of the STERS to validate the onsite treatment of a blackwater sludge/brine stream with only energy produced directly from the blackwater sludge. This validation will facilitate two key breakthroughs in onsite domestic wastewater treatment: 1. elimination of concentrate/brine streams through recycle and treatment of the concentrate and 2. elimination of required emptying and transport of sludge in OWTS via vacuum truck. The technical risk for this proposal is low as the ZeWa system, and specifically the STERS, leverages and integrates components developed by the team over the past decade of onsite wastewater treatment research.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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