California’s Clos du Bois Winery reduced its aeration pump electricity costs and produced a surplus of reusable energy during its field test of Cambrian Innovation’s wastewater treatment system, which is now commercial available.
For the last 15 months, Clos du Bois used Cambrian’s EcoVolt to treat up to 10 percent of its total wastewater flow. The EcoVolt system treated 80 to 90 percent of the wastewater’s biological oxygen demand (BOD) while simultaneously generating high-quality methane fuel. The winery experienced a reduction in aeration pump electricity costs and a surplus of reusable energy.
Brian Hemphill, operations manager at Clos du Bois, says the system was commissioned quickly and operated better in some areas than competing technology. Additionally, the EcoVolt unit can be managed remotely, saying the winery time, Hemphill says.
Cambrian says its EcoVolt can help food and beverage companies — including wineries, breweries and dairy operations — cut operating costs and monetize their process and wastewater streams while increasing plant sustainability.
Compared to using traditional aeration technologies, Cambrian says a winery or brewery can save from $100,000 to more than $1 million a year using EcoVolt, which eliminates aeration energy requirements and sludge hauling, minimizes sewer fees, and generates clean heat and power.
An average EcoVolt system can also cut a facility’s carbon footprint substantially, facilitating its certification as a green producer, the company says.
EcoVolt leverages electrically active microbes to stabilize the wastewater treatment process while generating clean energy. This energy can save money, decrease grid reliance, and form a core part of a sustainable water management and re-use plan.
Cambrian CEO Matthew Silve says he expects EcoVolt to enable many customers to “significantly” cut electricity usage and even “go off-grid” when using EcoVolt to treat wastewater and generate power.
Developed with assistance from the National Science Foundation, EcoVolt’s bioelectric innovation uses electrogenic organisms to generate clean energy from wastewater. These organisms convert wastewater pollutants into electricity. This electricity is funneled to a circuit, and back into an electrode, where a different set of micro-organisms convert electricity and carbon dioxide into methane fuel. The methane can be used on-site for clean power and heat production.
EcoVolt is an end-to-end, anaerobic wastewater treatment solution that can operate across a range of BOD loadings and wastewater volumes. Its modular design and bioelectric capability allow for rapid commissioning and continuous, remote monitoring and control, the company says.