Wastewater treatment pilot to extract energy from ammonia at CA district

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Nov. 7, 2013 -- In a new partnership, former Imagine H2O Water Business Competition finalist Stanford Nitrogen Group will run a pilot wastewater treatment process to remove and recover energy from ammonia, a common water pollutant, at Delta Diablo Sanitation District in Antioch, Calif.

The resource recovery research partnership between the two organizations will employ a process called the Coupled Aerobicanoxic Nitrous Decomposition Operation (CANDO), which improves the efficiency of nitrogen treatment -- necessary because of high levels of pollutants from fertilizer runoff and other human sources. CANDO is also the first process to recover energy from nitrogen.

Wastewater treatment facilities benefit from this technology because they face the dual financial pressures of rising energy costs and increasingly stringent nitrogen discharge regulation. The Stanford Nitrogen Group is testing the application of this technology for wastewater utilities through a pilotscale demonstration unit at the Delta Diablo Plant.

"Delta Diablo's innovative and motivated team of environmental stewards made this a natural and successful partnership," reports Dr. Scherson. "I also believe the east Contra Costa County corridor is uniquely situated and well suited to become a hub for water innovation due to its close proximity to several major universities, transport systems and the Delta."

Heading up the project at Delta Diablo is Environmental Compliance Engineer Amanda Roa, who reports, "Delta Diablo is extremely proud to have been selected by Stanford University to partner with such an esteemed group of researchers. Exploring and supporting this project reflects our resource recovery mission by supplementing our existing renewable energy production to help offset costs of running our plant."

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