Converting Ammonia from Wastewater Treatment Boosts Energy Recovery

Achievement date: 

A plan to commercialize a process to generate a new source of energy while handling a serious waste problem won a $100,000 grant from the Department of Energy. The CANDO project, a process for using ammonia generated from wastewater to enhance the combustion of biogas, was developed at Re-Inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center headquartered at Stanford University.


The award will help ReNUWIt researchers demonstrate how their technology can create new business opportunities in scaling up the technology during its next phase of development. The support for commercializing the modular technology could help the process generate significant amounts of energy from wastewater while simultaneously decreasing nutrient pollution.


ReNUWIt researchers won the award at a California Institute of Technology First Look West (FLoW) meeting. The team not only showed it can stem the problem of nitrogen generated in wastewater treatment, but the process was shown to yield a combustible gas that can "turboboost" energy recovery from the treatment systems.