A More Accessible Waste Water Treatment Plant

S200-plant-layout

Sustainability Problem

Many developing countries don’t have proper sewage systems, which contaminates rivers, bays, oceans, etc. and gets into drinking water, causing sickness.

Technology

Raw sewage contains many pathogens that are harmful to humans. Fortunately, there is enough energy in the biomass to boil the water and make it bio-safe. Janicki Bioenergy has designed a small plant which costs roughly $1.5-million and can process sewage for a community of about 100,000 people.

The technology is very different than a traditional waste water treatment system because, instead of taking electricity from the grid, releasing water vapor into the atmosphere, and using natural gas for operations, the OmniProcessor recaptures used energy and uses it again. This process makes it a lot cheaper and more environmentally-friendly.

Stakeholders

  • Citizens of developing countries
  • Governments of developing countries
  • Water treatment companies
  • Medical practitioners

Steps to implementation

  • Propose as water crisis solution to UN, other agencies, getting developing countries interested.
  • Find external sources of funding for several projects.
  • Start several pilot programs in different countries.
  • Assess whether it is a scalable technology.

Sources

http://www.wired.com/2015/01/omniprocessor/

http://janickibioenergy.com/s200.html

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Modular Nuclear Power

modular_nuclear_power

Sustainability Problem
Energy demand is increasing and we need more options for clean energy production. Solar and wind are both intermittent and non-dispatchable. Nuclear carries its own major risks but it is still the only utility-scale, non-intermittent electricity source that doesn’t emit carbon. NuScale Power builds modular nuclear plants, which carry less risk and are much less expensive to build than traditional nuclear plants.

Technology
The NuScale Small Module Reactor is an advanced light-water reactor wherein each module is a self-contained unit that operates independently within a multi-module configuration. Up to 12 modules are monitored and operated from a single control room.

“At 50 MWe (gross), the NuScale Power Module is the smallest of the light-water SMRs, broadening its market reach and application to markets that require smaller sizes and for customers who wish to make smaller investments in nuclear power.

NuScale’s small size and simple design eliminates many of the large and complex systems (e.g., pumps, motors, valves, piping) found in today’s nuclear power plants and other SMR designs. As a result, NuScale’s plant is safer, and less expensive to build and operate.”

Stakeholders
• Small and large scale energy producers (utilities)
• Energy consumers
• Operators
• Policymakers

Steps to implementation
• Conduct additional contained testing and verification
• Create training program
• Market to large corporations, government agencies

Sources
http://www.nuscalepower.com/
http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2030137_2030135_2021672,00.html

Spinning sour milk into silky fibers

 

qmilkSustainability Problem

In Germany, 1.9 million tons of milk is wasted every year because it perishes quickly. This waste has great potential to be recycled.

 

Technology

QMilk is using milk that would have gone to waste to manufacture sustainable textile fibers. It is made from 100% renewable resources through eco-efficient production technology.

From QMilk website:

  • For the production of 1 kg of fiber we need only 5 minutes and max. 2 liters of water. This implies a particular level of cost efficiency and ensures a minimum of CO2 emissions.
  • Qmilk fiber is biodegradable and leaves no traces.
  • It is naturally antibacterial and ideal for people that suffer from textile allergies.
  • Fabrics made from Qmilk fiber provide high wearing comfort and a silky feel.
  • The organic fiber is tested for harmful substances and dermatologically tested for your skin and body compatibility.
  • 0% chemical additives.

 

Stakeholders

  • Waste producers (milk consumers): households, stores, restaurants, etc.
  • Clothing and textile designers, manufacturers
  • Waste management companies (coordinated pick up)

 

Steps to implementation

  • Collect data on demand in different towns and regions.
  • Open central manufacturing facility in a high demand area.
  • Create plan to collect waste from consumers through neighborhood associations and partnerships.

 

http://de.qmilk.eu/presite/index_en.html

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/sour-milk-fibres-textiles-qmilk

Aquion Energy: Saltwater Batteries

aquion

Sustainability Problem

Too many energy sources are currently dirty and expensive. With the growing renewable energy sector, we need a way to decrease the strain on the grid and make solar dispatchable.

 

Technology

Aquion’s sodium-ion batteries provide a low-cost way to store large amounts of energy through thousands of battery cycles (the batteries can deliver a round-trip efficiency of 85 percent and perform 5,000 cycles), and a non-toxic end product made from widely available material inputs and which operates safely and reliably across a wide range of temperatures and operating environments

How the technology works: Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI) chemistry is composed of a saltwater electrolyte, manganese oxide cathode, carbon titanium phosphate composite anode, and synthetic cotton separator. The battery utilizes non-corrosive intercalation reactions at the anode and cathode.

Compared to other solar storage technologies:

tech

 

Stakeholders

  • Solar companies
  • Utilities
  • Solar producers (homeowners/businesses)
  • Battery manufacturers

 

Steps to implementation

  • Obtain more funding for research and marketing
  • Outreach to businesses who would like to partner and create pilot programs
  • Create plan to scale to homeowners

 

Sources

http://aquionenergy.com/technology/deep-cycle-battery/

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Aquion-Energy-Continues-Funding-Momentum-With-a-33M-Round-For-Its-New-Batt

bio-bean: Turning Coffee Grounds into Clean Fuel

biobeanSustainability Problem

Globally, 25 million metric tons of coffee waste per year ends up in landfills. Too much landfill waste and high levels of CO2 associated with disposal process.

Technology

Bio-bean recycles landfill-diverted waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels for the following purposes:

  • Heating large buildings (biomass pellets)
  • Heating homes (briquettes)
  • Powering transit systems (biodiesel)

The advanced biofuels are carbon neutral and help decrease reliance on fossil fuels as well as diverting waste from landfill. Bio-beans are also cost-competitive with mainstream fuel sources.

Biobeanproces

Stakeholders

  • Waste producers: coffee shops/factories, office blocks, restaurants, etc.
  • Biofuel consumers: companies, government agencies, individuals
  • Waste management companies (coordinated pick up)

Steps to implementation

  • Collect data on demand for bio-bean in different towns and regions.
  • Create plan to collect waste from consumers through neighborhood associations and partnerships. Implement fees for pick-up and incentivize by giving briquettes and pellets at no additional charge.
  • Open additional recycling factories to increase capacity throughout the UK.

 

Sources

http://www.bio-bean.com/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/eshachhabra/2015/02/28/coffee-power-london-entrepreneur-uses-the-cities-coffee-waste-for-fuel/#7035ee5e6336

SkySails: Kite Wind Propulsion

skysails

Problem: Cargo ships have very high fuel costs and emissions.

Technology: Kite wind propulsion on large cargo vessels. A kite used for propulsion is able to harness the wind to use as a power source.

  • One kilowatt hour of SkySails power costs just 6 cents, or only about half as much as one kilowatt hour from the main engine.
  • In ideal conditions, about 10 tons of oil saved per day.

Stakeholders:

  • SkySails: suppliers, engineers, etc.
  • Shipping companies and owners looking to decrease fuel consumption.
  • Ships operations crew.

Implementation:

  • Conduct additional studies to back original findings (third party verfification).
  • Develop long-term pricing mechanism to decrease the capital costs associated with the purchase of the kite.
  • Partner with government/non-profit owned research vessels to help scale technology.

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/14/how-kites-can-save-the-planet–or-the-shipping-industry.html

http://www.skysails.info/index.php?id=3&L=1