Microbial Fuel Cells
FTL developed a forward-deployable wastewater solution for the Air Force. FTL’s “ElectroSeptic” technology was aimed at reducing both energy use and footprint for rapid-setup, air-drop water treatment systems.
The core of the ElectroSeptic technology was a novel microbial fuel cell that could break down organic carbon molecules in wastewater using microbial thin films grown on a semi-permeable aerated membrane. Waste particulates in the effluent were able to be digested by “electrogen” microbes with severely reduced O2 input need, thus saving significant air pumping related costs.
Challenges included optimizing aeration bubble size and delivery and minimization of particulate biomatter build-up. This project was a collaboration with municipal and academic wastewater treatment facilities and included optimization of accurate and automated water monitoring.