Processing Technologies

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System Name Partner Name Description Used in Complete Systems
Self-sustaining Smoldering Solids Treatment University of Toronto Dewatered fecal material (fuel) is transferred via piston and peristaltic pump onto the top of a column of granular particles in a reactor. The heat from the reaction zone lower down in the column dries the fuel as is moved down the column to the combustion zone by removal of not material from the base of the column. Reaching the combustion zone fuel is smoldered (low oxygen combustion).
Urinetricity MFC University of West England The Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) generates electricity by processing organic waste such as urine and wastewater. It is small enough to be built into a urinal, and multiple MFCs can be linked together in a “stack” to process greater volumes and increase power output. Compared to traditional MFCs, this technology uses ceramic housing (terracotta) as its membrane, which results in producing disinfectant solutions (ECAS), fertilizer, and is being explored as a platform technology for denitrification and nutrient recovery from urine. Key features: - System design can be a retrofit or a small, cubicle cell - System produces electricity via microbial breakdown of organic compounds in urine - Novel, cheap membranes improve cost effectiveness. Membrane-less is also possible - Generates a byproduct which can be used as a disinfectant
Micro-combuster Cranfield University A micro-combuster that processes dewatered, dried solids into ash.
Nanomembrane Pervaporation Cranfield University This is a nanomembrane pervaporation technology which can be used to separate water from solid and liquid contamination.
Electrochemical Reactor Caltech Backend processing technology that capitalizes on anaerobic digestion of solids and a unique electrolysis system to convert waste into water, hydrogen, and solid fertilizer. Separate partnerships with three commercial partners (Kohler, Eram, and EcoSan) have progressed at different rates, and resulted in systems with different frontend designs, and different power and control system designs. All systems currently require power, supplied by solar panels, but may be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell in the future.
Janicki Omni-Processor (J-OP) Sedron Technologies Sedron Technologies, formerly Janicki Bioenergy, is the Technology Partner responsible for development of the patented Janicki Omni-Processor technology, now owned by the Gates Foundation and available for license. The J-OP uses a Rankine cycle to process fecal sludge and other waste streams into water, ash, and energy. The unit is flexible and robust to a variety of feedstocks and contexts, dependent on the desired business case. Key features: - Scalable to smaller or larger capacities - Sustainable solution to reduce carbon footprint and green-house gas emissions - Net energy producer: no electricity or auxiliary fuel is required. Excess energy produced is available for sales as electricity and/or heat.
Pulsing Electronic Disinfection Duke University Center for WaSH-AID Liquid processing technology that uses pulsed electrochemical disinfection in a series of baffle tanks.
Solar Septic Tank Asian Institute of Technology Solar Septic Tank is a highly efficient, self-contained, and simple technique. This technology uses free energy from the sun to increase temperature inside the system for the treatment of human feces and urine. Solar septic tank could promote natural bio-augmentation to improve the degradation rates in the system and could effectively inactivate harmful pathogens.
Supercritical Water Oxidation (Duke) Duke University Center for WaSH-AID The Supercritical Water Oxidation system is a containerized, scalable treatment technology for versatile applications and waste types. It uses a supercritical water oxidation process to treat a combined solid and liquid waste stream, with >99.95% conversion to clean water and carbon dioxide, plus complete pathogen removal. The system is capable of handling high COD/BOD feedstocks and hazardous industrial wastes (e.g. oil, chemical, pharma, etc.). It produces no polluting emissions, no odor, and no disinfection by-products.
Supercritical Water Oxidation (eawag) Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
The Reclaimer Duke Center for WaSH-AID and MSR The Reclaimer is a stand-alone liquid processing unit designed to rapidly treat and disinfect blackwater to ISO 30500 standards for Category B usage. It combines three treatment modalities into a compact, automated system. Influents can include liquid waste from household or community toilets, effluent from dewatered sludge, or septic tank effluent. Ultrafiltration for removal of suspended solids. Key Features: - Activated carbon for removal of soluble organic material - Electrochemical treatment for additive-free disinfection - “Buffered batch” processing allows system to accept influent while treating; automated process control
Thermal Combustion Duke University Center for WaSH-AID
ULTRON Liquid Processing Technology Caltech CalTech has built on their existing electrochemical reactor (ECR) technology to develop the ULTRON system for urinal retrofits or liquid disinfection. Both the urinal retrofitting kit and the portable disinfection system contains a number of ECRs connected in parallel in order to reach the desired flow rate and application.
Urine Stabilization Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
Vuna Vuna, Ltd. Vuna means "harvest" in isiZulu, the language of the Zulu people. The system is a scalable urine processing and resource recovery system. VUNA originated as a research project which endeavored to find a suitable use for the urine collected in dry toilets in the city of Durban, South Africa. VUNA further developed between Eawag, eThekwini Municipality (greater Durban) and additional partner organizations. The technology to recover nutrients – or rather "harvest" them – has been well established. In 2016, the company Vuna Ltd was founded based on the outcomes of this research project and sells the Aurin fertlizer from urine.
The Biogenic Refinery Biomass Controls The Biomass Controls Biogenic Refinery is a decentralized, small-scale pyrolysis omniprocessor (P-OP) system that processes human and other organic waste streams into valuable end products. It designed to meet the needs of the urban and peri-urban communities that lack safe sanitation treatment. It has been successfully treating solids at the Tide Technocrats fecal sludge treatment plants in India, and is available independently.
NEWGenerator University of South Florida The NEWgenerator is a compact, portable, and modular resource recovery machine that eliminates waste while recovering fertilizer nutrients, renewable energy, and clean water. The system uses an anaerobic baffled reactor design followed by a nanomembrane filter operated at sub-critical water flux to extend the longevity. Permeate from the filter is treated for reuse as flush water by electrochemical chlorine production from table salt.