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Production of Biogas for Energy Production using Hydrodynamic Cavitation, Anaerobic Digestion, and Microbial Electrolysis Cells

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W56HZV-21-C-0050
Agency Tracking Number: A20B-T019-0178
Amount: $166,489.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: A20B-T019
Solicitation Number: 20.B
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-04-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-10-12
Small Business Information
10621-J Iron Bridge Rd.
Jessup, MD 20794-9381
United States
DUNS: 605227875
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Gregory Loraine
 (301) 604-3688
Business Contact
 Chao-Tsung Hsiao
Phone: (301) 604-3688
Research Institution
 University of Maryland, College Park
 Stephanie Swann
1132 Main Administration Building
College Park, MD 20742-5035
United States

 (301) 405-8079
 Nonprofit College or University

Using waste streams generated on Distributed Operations bases to produce energy and water will reduce the resupply burden and increase resilience. The feasibility of using a system which integrates hydrodynamic cavitation based pretreatment, anaerobic digestion, and a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) to convert black water and food wastes into methane-enriched biogas suitable for power and non-potable water generation will be demonstrated. During hydrodynamic cavitation, transient high temperatures and pressures rapidly decompose cellular matter and breakdown complex biomass in the influent waste stream, so that it can be more quickly fermented by anaerobic microorganisms that create methane-enriched biogas during the anaerobic digestion process. This energy production process is enhanced by MEC inclusion, which allows microorganisms to catalyze electrochemical reactions, greatly increasing the energy production and the percentage of methane in the produced biogas (from 60 to 95%). By combining the highest levels of innovation in hydrodynamic cavitation at Dynaflow, Inc with combined digestion-MEC reactor developed at the University of Maryland, our waste treatment and energy production system greatly exceeds conventional on-site energy production and waste treatment in terms of efficiency, cost, and sustainability. In this Phase I STTR we will systemically investigate our novel process in terms of energy production, waste treatment capability, process time, and space needed for advanced, on-site water treatment and energy production. The hydrodynamic cavitation pre-treatment  and digestion-MEC process for black water and food waste substrates allows the combined anaerobic digestion MEC reactor to produce 70% more energy in a shorter time (2 days) with cleaner effluent water produced than conventional anaerobic digestion processes. The system components will be tested at lab scale individually and in-series using our tested simulated waste streams. The focus will be on decreasing energy inputs into the system while increasing the energy production and reducing the system footprint, allowing for a scalable, deployable system that exceeds industry standards.

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

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