Enhanced Fuel Cells for Wastewater Treatment

Period of Performance: 04/08/2016 - 04/07/2018


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

FTL Labs Corporation
218 Strong Street Array
Amherst, MA 01002
Firm POC, Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT:Microbial fuel cells (MFC's) use metabolic reactions inside bacteria as a source of electrons. Wastewater treatment processes with MFC's employ bacteria to generate electrical power produced as they anaerobically breakdown organic materials captured from wastewater. FTL Labs Corporation (FTL) proposes a powerful new enabling technology for deployable wastewater treatment using high-capacity flow-through microbiological fuel cells developed and proven in the laboratory of Dr. Caitlyn Butler, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. "ElectroSeptic" is based on technology that has been tested at the gallon per day level in the Phase I program. ElectroSeptic has been created with real-world return-on-investment as a primary design goal. Excellent performance is achieved through a self-optimizing bio-electrode approach and innovative flow-entrained charge transfer. ElectroSeptic sequesters nitrogen and extracts energy from the wastewater continuously emanating from human populations without aeration.BENEFIT:The proposed technology, when implemented, will allow a significant enhancement in low-energy, modular wastewater treatment. In addition to this important application to the U.S. Department of Defense, civilian markets such as agricultural and industrial food processing wastewater treatment may develop as a significant market for the resultant technologies. In applications that require low-power, on-demand, effective wastewater treatment, FTL Labs s (FTLs) ElectroSeptic wastewater treatment technology can find a growing market.