The Arbcell: Simultaneous Wastewater Treatment and H2 Production Targeted for Food and Beverage Processors

Project: Research project

Project Details


Arbsource LLC proposes to design and build an Arbcell bioreactor designed to treat food and beverage wastewaters. The Arbcell is an innovative, scalable form of a microbial electrolytic cell (MEC), in which the energy content of the organic matter in the wastewater is converted to hydrogen gas. Arbcell can treat wastewater with a small fraction of the cost incurred by activated sludge technology. The wastewater targeted is from food/beverage facilities, as these generate well-characterized wastewater with high concentrations of sugars, starches, and other organic materials that provide a high-energy input to the Arbcell. The primary goal of the proposed grant is to design and build a pilot reactor capable of treating 200 gallons per day of 5 to 10 g/L BOD wastewater such that we simultaneously produce 99%-pure hydrogen gas. ASU will provide support to Arbsource in the design of the Arbcell, as well as provide analytical equipment during its testing phase. For this purpose, Dr. Popat, a postdoctoral research associate in the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, will work directly with Arbsource staff. He will help design prototypes reactors and carry out experiments in the laboratories at ASU. An undergraduate researcher will support Dr. Popats effort. Drs. Torres and Rittmann will supervise the project at the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology.
Effective start/end date2/1/1312/31/13


  • US Department of Energy (DOE): $20,531.00


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