With funding from ONR, HNEI researchers have investigated the performance and durability of novel carbon-based biofilm supports to support active methanogenic microbial communities. Using DNA based community analysis the project verified wood derived biochar to host biofilms possessing well-balanced methanogenic microbial communities that realized high digestion rates under anaerobic conditions. HNEI researchers then investigated the performance and durability of a hybrid high rate anaerobic-aerobic digestion (HRAAD) system operated at demonstration scale in an existing wastewater treatment facility. The HRAAD system consisted of an anaerobic reactor packed with a range of materials including biochar and a second aerobic reactor, serving as a trickling filter, packed with highly porous polystyrene media.  After demonstration at lab and demonstration scale in industry, HNEI researchers have now completed a full design of modular units to fabricate and install these systems in industry.

Point Person: Michael Cooney

 

Papers & Proceedings