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Recovering Hydrogen from Wet-biowaste

HyBrTec is a new process for producing renewable hydrogen, heat and potable water from wet organic biowaste.

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The attached briefly describes Chemergy’s patented HyBrTec technology for recovering hydrogen and heat from wet-biowaste. Simply put, wastewater and biosolids are 'burned' with bromine producing hydrogen bromide, carbon dioxide and 200 C heat. The hydrogen bromine combines with un-reacted water forming hydrobromic acid, which is electrolyzed into hydrogen and recycled bromine reagent. The electrolysis of concentrated hydrobromic acid requires less than half the energy that hydrogen will produce reacting with oxygen (air) providing a healthy feedstock-to-energy efficiency.     

About a year ago we unsuccessfully approached Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) regarding demonstrating the technology processing sewage sludge. WASD landfills 55 tons of sludge daily at a cost of $60/ton. Chemergy has demonstrated producing from 20-25 kg of hydrogen per ton of sludge in a California sponsored program. Roughly 1200 kg of hydrogen (22.5 kg of H2/ton of sludge) could be recovered daily from 55 tons of WASD sludge, with the gge Btu equivalent 1200 gallons of gasoline. In a year the Btu content of the recovered hydrogen would amount to over 440,000 gallons of gasoline. 

Raw sewage mixed with dry cellulosic waste (woody) to produce an optimum feedstock with 50% water content is predicted to produce 50-60 kg of hydrogen per ton of feedstock.  

Unfortunately, once WASD learned that HyBrTec would be profitable and sewage treatment possibly privatized and not a public economic burden there was zero interest in doing a demonstration.

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