Recovering Hydrogen from Biowaste and Energy Storage
Mr. Robin Z. Parker, Chairman and CEO, Chemergy
In the U.S., waste-water treatment plants, municipal solid waste, confined area feeding operations, and agriculture produce over 1 billion tons of organic biowaste annually that can cost from $40-$200 per ton to treat before use or disposal. All organic biowaste contains an unused remnant of stored solar energy that Chemergy’s HyBrTec technology recovers as renewable hydrogen, non-anthropogenic carbon dioxide, thermal energy and inorganic residuals suitable as a micro-nutrient fertilizer. Processing wet-biowaste, HyBrTec exploits two well-established steps that are scalable from pounds to tons per minute with commercially available components. First, the wet-biowaste is ‘burned’ or oxidized with bromine to produce hydrogen bromide, carbon dioxide and heat. The hydrogen bromide reacts with unreacted water forming concentrated hydrobromic acid that is electrolyzed into hydrogen and reagent bromine, which is recycled back into the process along with diluted acid. Hydrogen bromide electrochemistry is reversible; able to store electricity by electrolyzing hydrogen bromide into hydrogen and bromine, which converts electrical energy into stored chemical energy and later producing electricity as a fuel cell converting the stored chemical energy into electrical energy by recombining hydrogen and bromine. This enables HyBrTec to include efficient electrical energy storage as a flow battery increasing the value of off-peak and intermittent solar & wind energy and promoting the development of micro- and smart-grids that can exploit local sources of energy, improve efficiency, reduce needed capacity and mitigate disruptions.
Mr. Parker is the past president and founder of SRT Group, Inc. where he directed and managed SRT’s research programs with NASA and the U.S. Departments of Defense and Energy from 1984 until 2012. He is also a Registered Architect in the State of Florida. He is responsible for a portfolio of patents and architecture.