- Descriptive Overview
- 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.
- Key Features
- Anaerobic membrane bioreactor processes solid and liquid in a single, dilute waste stream
- Minerals and nutrients are removed from the wastewater by a hydroponic/biosorption system
- Biogas from waste product digestion is collected for use outside of the system (e.g. cooking, heating)
- Operates off the grid on solar photovoltaic and is housed in a quadcon for small footprint and high service density, recycling ~1100 L/day of flush water
- Use Case Details
- The core processing technology (the anaerobic membrane bioreactor) is scalable. Versions can be optimized for a single household, multi-stall public toilet, or building-level processing applications. The current prototype provides backend processing of waste only; no frontend toilet is included. It is intended as an exterior system intended for use where toilets already exist or are being built, including community toilets, schools, and apartment buildings.
- Dimensions (meters)
- L 2.4 m X W 1.5 m X H 2.4 m
- Weight (kg)
- Regularly Scheduled Required Maintenance
- General preventive maintenance every 6 months
- Use Cases
- Single-stall Toilet
- Multi-stall Toilet
- Building-level Processing
- Frontend Description
- No frontend is included, but the NEWGenerator can be connected to any existing or newly built toilet units. Waste is fed to a settling tank where solids separate via gravity before effluent is pumped out for treatment. When connected to multiple toilets, the treated water from the system can be recycled for use as flush water.
- Users per Day (Expected)
- Current system is designed for 300 uses/day, equivalent to around 60 users per day. Design of the core processing technology is scalable to a single household (10 users/day) or up to 1,000 or more users per day.
- Users per Day (Maximum)
- Type of Waste Treated
- Combined Stream (solids and liquids)
- Core Processing Technology
- Processing Overview
- After the settling tank, the mixed waste stream is processed in an anaerobic membrane bioreactor that uses cheap, commercially available membranes to digest organic materials.
- Processing Capacity
- Scalable, with previous versions designed for approximately 1000 L/day
- Processing Parameters
- System is operated at sub-critical flux to optimize longevity of the membrane. Mixed waste stream typically has TSS range of 100-15,000 mg/L. Biosorption and hydroponic processing is used to remove additional organics and minerals. Electro-chlorination is the final polishing step. Anaerobic membrane bioreactor operates at 0.05 bar. The full system's hydraulic retention time is 8-10 hours.
- Consumable Chemicals Needed
- Salt is added for electrochlorination
Power & Control
- Power Systems Overview
- Power source required. Current prototypes have used solar panels to charge deep-cycle flooded batteries that power the system.
- Energy Balance
- Biogas is generated by the process and can be captured for other uses (e.g. cooking, heating, power generation).
- Control System
- Currently using a proprietary microcontroller.
- Capital Expense Estimate (USD)
- Capital Expense Estimate Notes
- Depends on the scale, but capex for the current prototype is approximately $45,000
- Operating Expense Estimate (USD)
- Operating Expense Estimate Notes
- Estimated daily operating cost of US$4-5 per day results in an annualized estimated operating expense of $1,825.
- Current: Cost per user per day (USD)
- Currently in Active Development
- Commercialization Status
- Seeking Licensees
- Commercialization Activities
- Pilots in Kerala, India (2016) and in an informal settlement in Durban, South Africa (Fall 2018). A next-generation, high-capacity unit (1000 uses/ day) to be tested in South Africa in 2019. Currently partnering with Eram Scientific and BIRAC (India) to produce integrated treatment unit with Eram eToilet. Also seeking additional commercialization partners for product development, manufacturing, and launch.
- Intellectual Property Status
- Patent Pending
- Intellectual Property Details
- Nonprovisional patents: WO 2015143160 A1; WO 2015134501 A1; WO 2016141369 A1. Provisional patent: 62/365,729
- Frequency of Emptying Outputs
- Solids emptied from leveling tank every 6-18 months.
- Nutrient Reuse
- 100% of the influent can be recycled as water for reuse. Nitrogen and phosphate recovered for horticulture
- Liquid Emission Characteristics
- Total pathogen removal confirmed
- Linked Complete Systems
- None linked