Emefcy’s EBR

The Electrogenic Bio Reactors  (EBR) system is an innovative solution for wastewater treatment, based on microbial fuel cell technology. It enables direct electricity generation from wastewater as means for wastewater treatment.

Emefcy’s Electrogenic Bio Reactors for wastewater treatment is unique compared to other wastewater treatment processes. The EBR is based on three components new to biological wastewater treatment:

  • Anodes (in anaerobic conditions): Where the bacterial oxidation of the organic matter occurs
  • Cathodes (which are exposed to air): Where the corresponding reduction reaction takes place
  • An electrical circuit that includes the external load, connecting the anodes to the cathodes

A biofilm naturally develops on the anode, oxidizing the organic matter into carbon dioxide. Protons migrate through the water, and electrons travel through the electric circuit, towards the cathode. The reaction on the cathode is due to a reduction of atmospheric oxygen in the presence of protons to water.

As a result, organic matter is oxidized, as it would be in conventional treatment methods. However, unlike conventional treatment methods, an electric current is produced, rather than energy being consumed during the process.

Features and Benefits:

  • Energy positive wastewater treatment technology – net zero OPEX
  • Lower sludge handling costs due to very low sludge production
  • Base load, distributed, carbon-free power
  • Modular design which enables gradual implementation and easier expansion
  • A robust process with high tolerance to salinity (5% dissolved solids and even more) sulfate (up to 5’000mg/l) and wide pH range (pH 6.5 to 9.5)
  • Suitable even for small installations, with organic load as low as 100 Kg BOD per day
  • Typical payback time is 5 years, contributed by: energy savings, reduction in excess sludge quantity, electricity production and tax/ carbon credits
  • Odorless, encapsulated system, suitable for treatment of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) containing wastewater

The Microbial Fuel Cell Technology

Conventional fuel cells are electrochemical energy conversion devices that produce electricity from an external supply of fuel and an oxidant on the anode and cathode sides respectively. Fuel cells operate continuously as long as the reactants are supplied.

The fuel cell operates by catalytically separating component electrons and protons from the reactant fuel at the anode, and forcing the electrons to travel through a circuit, hence converting them to electrical power.

Electricity can also be produced directly from degradation of organic matter in an Electrogenic Bioreactor (EBR) also known as a Microbial Fuel Cell. Like other fuel cells, an EBR has an anode chamber and a cathode chamber. The anaerobic anode chamber is most commonly connected internally to the cathode chamber by an ion exchange membrane, and the circuit is completed by an external wire. Electrogenic Bioreactors may use wastewater as a fuel, or more generally a dilute solution of a variety of organic materials in water.

Electricity Generation

Electricity Generation

This product treats wastewater from industrial, agricultural and municipal sources while directly generating DC electricity. The electricity may be used internally by the plant or sold to the grid.
A few of the industrial applications for electricity generating EBR systems are: pulp and paper plants, petrochemical processing, food and beverage industries and agricultural wastewater. The main advantages of EBR systems for wastewater treatment are: very low sludge yield, zero net energy consumption, compatibility with high salinity.

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