Navigation Links
University of Nevada, Reno, demonstrates successful sludge-to-power research
Date:9/23/2010

RENO, Nev. Like the little engine that could, the University of Nevada, Reno experiment to transform wastewater sludge to electrical power is chugging along, dwarfed by the million-gallon tanks, pipes and pumps at the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility where, ultimately, the plant's electrical power could be supplied on-site by the process University researchers are developing.

"We are very pleased with the results of the demonstration testing of our research," Chuck Coronella, principle investigator for the research project and an associate professor of chemical engineering, said. "The process to dry the sludge to make it burnable for a gasification process, which could then be transformed into electricity, is working very well. This is an important step for our renewable energy research, processing about 20 pounds an hour of sludge in a continuous-feed system to produce about 3 pounds an hour of dried powder."

The team of researchers custom built the processing machine in a lab at the University and brought it to the plant for testing. It uses an innovative process with relatively low temperatures in a fluidized bed of sand and salts to economically produce the biomass fuel from the gooey sludge.

The new patent-pending, low-cost, energy-efficient technology is an experimental carbon-neutral system. The solid fuel it produces will be analyzed for its suitability to be used for fuel through gasification, and the refrigerator-size demonstration unit will help researchers determine the optimum conditions for a commercial-sized operation.

"The beauty of this process is that it's designed to be all on-site, saving trucking costs and disposal fees for the sludge," Victor Vasquez, a University faculty member in chemical engineering and collaborator, said. "It uses waste heat from the process to drive the electrical generation. It also keeps the sludge out of the landfill."

Estimates, which will be further refined through the research, show that a full-scale system could potentially generate 25,000 kilowatt-hours per day to help power the local reclamation facility.

The demonstration-scale project is a collaboration with the cities of Reno and Sparks, operators of the wastewater plant. The city councils signed an interlocal agreement recently to allow the research to integrate into their operation, providing space for the experiments, the dewatered sludge and other resources to help make the project a success.

"Economically, this makes sense," Coronella said. "Treatment plants have to get rid of the sludge, and what better way than to process it on-site and use the renewable energy to lower operating costs. This demonstration gives the University an opportunity to involve students in development of waste-to-energy technology, which ultimately will benefit the community. It's a win-win for everyone involved."

"Our next step is to do exactly what this dryer is doing on a much larger scale," he added. "We plan to demonstrate the technology at a scale 100 times larger, to convince investors and plant operators of the technology's viability."

The University's Technology Transfer Office, with assistance from the College of Business, is supporting the project with plans to make the system available to hundreds of communities around the country that operate water-treatment plants.

For example, there are approximately 700,000 metric tons of dried sludge produced annually in California municipalities, which would sustainably generate as much as 10 million kilowatt-hours per day.

The project is funded through the Energy Innovations Small Grant Program, the California Energy Commission and the Department of Energy. This phase of the project was selected for funding by the University's Tech Transfer Office under a DOE grant to support transferring technologies from the lab to practical application.

The project is one of many of the University's renewable energy research areas that have commercial potential to help Nevada's economy grow.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mike Wolterbeek
mwolterbeek@unr.edu
University of Nevada, Reno
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. University of Nevada, Reno demonstrates successful sludge-to-power research
2. VP, university leaders discuss ARRA impact on research
3. Drink milk and lose more weight, according to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev research
4. Marshall University researchers awarded more than $1 million for breast cancer studies
5. Improving cotton the goal of $3.8 million grant to University of Texas at Austin plant geneticist
6. Winners of plant-biology video contest announced -- new competition begins at Penn State University
7. University of Arizona-led group awarded $9.9 million to develop super rice
8. University at Buffalo symposium on in silico methods, high throughput screening
9. National Geographic features University of Miamis work on Bahamas blue holes
10. University of Nevada professor studies structural basis for autism disorders
11. University of Maryland receives $1.9M from NSF for investigations of biomolecular structure
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
University of Nevada, Reno, demonstrates successful sludge-to-power research
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016 The Department of Transport Management ... 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant and ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... June 1, 2016 Favorable Government ... Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System ... released TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics Market ... Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics ... 2021, on account of growing security concerns across various ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... , May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC , ... announced the opening of an IoT Center of Excellence ... and expand the development of embedded iris biometric applications. ... level of convenience and security with unmatched biometric accuracy, ... identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video technology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network ... Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is ... projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The Design Lab is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, ... biological discoveries to the medical community, has closed its ... Matthew Nunez . "We have received ... with the capital we need to meet our current ... essentially provide us the runway to complete validation on ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... focused on quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free webinar ... presented on July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016 Cell Applications, Inc. and ... to produce up to one billion human induced ... one week. These high-quality, consistent stem cells enable ... and spend more time doing meaningful, relevant research. ... high-volume manufacturing process that produces affordable, reliable HiPSC ...
Breaking Biology Technology: