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Renewable hydrogen production becomes reality at winery

Submitted by on 1 January, 2019 – 4:32 pm
The first demonstration of a method for producing renewable hydrogen from wastewater using microbial electrolysis system is underway in the Napa Wine Company in Oakville. The refrigerator-sized hydrogen generator winery wastewater and the use of bacteria and a small amount of electrical energy, converting organic matter into hydrogen, according to a Penn State engineer the environment.

“This is a demonstration to prove can continuously generate renewable hydrogen and engineering study of the factors affecting system performance,” said Bruce E. Logan, Kappe professor of environmental engineering. “The hydrogen produced will be ventilated with the exception of a small amount to be used in a hydrogen fuel cell.” Finally, Napa Wine Company to use hydrogen to run vehicles and power systems.

Wastewater comes from Napa Wine Company cleaning equipment, elimination of grapes, wine making and other processes. The company already has in treating and recycling sewage and partially treated water by microbial electrolysis system of water will join others to continue the treatment and use in irrigation.

“It’s good Napa Wine Company offers its warehouses and facilities to test this new approach,” said Logan. “We chose a wine because it is a natural tourist attraction. People go there all the time to experience the winemaking and wine, and now they can also view a demonstration of how to make clean hydrogen gas from agricultural waste.

The demonstration plant microbial electrolysis is a continuous flow system that will process about 1,000 gallons of wastewater a day. Microbial electrolysis cells consist of two electrodes immersed in liquid. Logan uses pairs of electrodes consisting of a carbon anode and cathode of stainless steel in your system instead of an electrode coated with precious metals like platinum or gold. Replacement of precious metals to keep costs down. The wastewater enters the cell in which naturally occurring bacteria convert organic material into electrical current. If the voltage produced by the bacterium is slightly higher, hydrogen gas is produced electrochemically at the cathode of stainless steel.

The demonstration plant consists of 24 modules. Each module has six pairs of electrodes.

“The composition of wastewater will change throughout the year,” said Logan. “It is now likely to be rather sweet, but later you can move more toward the remains of the fermentation process.”

The bacteria involved in the electrolysis cells will consume one of these organic materials.

Provided by Pennsylvania State University (web)

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