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Cambrian Innovation

Army Tests Self-Powered Wastewater Treatment System

Cambrian InnovationThe US Army will pilot a self-powered wastewater treatment system made by Cambrian Innovation that produces clean water and energy to power the system.

Cambrian Innovation says the partnership will demonstrate its BioVolt, which treats wastewater with zero electrical input from the grid for aeration. The demonstrator test at the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Maryland is evaluating the system for application at forward operating bases (FOBs) and other off-grid locations.

BioVolt uses electrically active microbes as catalysts in a fuel cell architecture to treat wastewater and generate electricity. The system is containerized, mobile and can be easily scaled for expanded capacity with additional units, the company says.

“Managing water and wastewater has traditionally been a very energy- and labor-intensive process. By producing electricity from wastewater and employing energy-efficient operations, BioVolt has the potential to decouple water and energy infrastructure, providing important strategic benefits for the Army,” said Matthew Silver, founder and CEO of Cambrian Innovation in a statement.

Silver says additional applications could include disaster relief and off-grid water treatment.

Cambrian Innovation’s flagship product, the EcoVolt Reactor, converts industrial wastewater into clean water and renewable methane gas. The company says food and beverage producers can save upwards of $1 million a year, and thousands of metric tons of CO2 using an EcoVolt system, compared to using traditional aeration technologies.

As compared to the EcoVolt Reactor, BioVolt directly extracts electricity from wastewater, rather than converting organic contaminants into methane.

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