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An innovative technology platform for the enhanced treatment of industrial wastewaters achieving cost reductions, electricity generation and enabling water reuse for non-potable applications

Final Report Summary - AQUACELL (An innovative technology platform for the enhanced treatment of industrial wastewaters achieving cost reductions, electricity generation and enabling water reuse for non-potable applications.)

Executive Summary:
Major water using and discharging industries are of significant European economic importance, generating >€1500 Billion turnover and employing >7.5 million European citizens in 220 000 companies (90% SMEs).
With continued European growth in demand for water, finite reservoirs of readily treatable water, global climatic changes, rising energy costs and increased environmental legislation, European industry is experiencing significant competitive threats with regards to cost efficient supply and treatment of water.
Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC’s) utilise the catalytic reactions of electrochemically active microorganisms to convert the inherent energy of organic chemical bonds to electrical energy. Complementary to existing aerobic and anaerobic wastewater treatment technologies, MFCs encompass unique features that offer key advantages for the treatment of industrial wastewater effluent, including: efficient and direct electricity generation; minimal sludge formation; operation at low temperature and substrate concentration; and modular fuel cell design enabling operation at small scale and customisation to specific end-user requirements.
Aquacell will advance MFC technology for industrial wastewater treatment, thereby generating sustainable and competitive business growth. Key innovations include: MFC integration with photocatalytic advanced oxidation and a membraneless MFC air cathode design; and a scalable cost efficient MFC and architecture design incorporating innovative process monitoring & control strategies.
System features and benefits include:
• capital cost equivalence with existing aerobic treatment solutions;
• significant operational cost savings, realised through:
o recovery of organic content as electrical energy & achieving system sustainability (self-powering);
o enhanced treatment efficiency enabling water re-use for on-site non-potable applications;
o significant cost reductions for sludge disposal and treated wastewater discharge to sewer;
Flexible design and operation customised to specific end-user (sector) requirements and enabling treatment of wastewaters of varying composition and containing hazardous micropollutants
The results of WP3 and WP4 demonstrated, for the first time, the intimate coupling of TiO2/UV photo-catalytic oxidation and biodegradation within a microbial fuel cell environment with membrane-less MFC cathode design, utilising platinum free catalyst and convection proton transfer. The novel microbial fuel cell has been demonstrated and validated by carrying out long-term cell performance and stability tests using synthetic model wastewater as well as real industrial brewery wastewater. WP4 has demonstrated the scaled up MFC architecture and components and the benefits associated with novel MFC design and extended to a modular Industrial Wastewater Treatment System, capable of treating 1m3/day of wastewater with excellent reduction of the high COD levels, has been assembled and fully tested as part of WP5 and also collated MFC system design and operation knowhow

Project Context and Objectives:
Major water using and discharging industries are of significant European economic importance, generating >€1500 Billion turnover and employing >7.5 million European citizens in 220 000 companies (90% SMEs).
With continued European growth in demand for water, finite reservoirs of readily treatable water, global climatic changes, rising energy costs and increased environmental legislation, European industry is experiencing significant competitive threats with regards to cost efficient supply and treatment of water.
Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC’s) utilise the catalytic reactions of electrochemically active microorganisms to convert the inherent energy of organic chemical bonds to electrical energy. Complementary to existing aerobic and anaerobic wastewater treatment technologies, MFCs encompass unique features that offer key advantages for the treatment of industrial wastewater effluent, including: efficient and direct electricity generation; minimal sludge formation; operation at low temperature and substrate concentration; and modular fuel cell design enabling operation at small scale and customisation to specific end-user requirements.
Aquacell will advance MFC technology for industrial wastewater treatment, thereby generating sustainable and competitive business growth. Key innovations include: MFC integration with photocatalytic advanced oxidation and a membraneless MFC air cathode design; and a scalable cost efficient MFC and architecture design incorporating innovative process monitoring & control strategies.
System features and benefits include:
• capital cost equivalence with existing aerobic treatment solutions;
• significant operational cost savings, realised through:
• recovery of organic content as electrical energy & achieving system sustainability (self-powering);
o enhanced treatment efficiency enabling water re-use for on-site non-potable applications;
o significant cost reductions for sludge disposal and treated wastewater discharge to sewer;
• Flexible design and operation customised to specific end-user (sector) requirements and enabling treatment of wastewaters of varying composition and containing hazardous micropollutants;
Due to their complex designs, two-compartment MFCs however are difficult to scale-up even though they can be operated in either batch or continuous mode. One-compartment MFCs offer simpler designs and cost savings. They typically possess only an anodic chamber without the requirement of aeration in a cathodic chamber which is exposed directly to the air . It is necessary for the broader acceptability of MFC for wastewater treatment to identify materials and structures that could minimize cost of and allow the building of pilot scale and commercial systems . Two important costs of the standard settings of MFC are the proton exchange membrane and the expensive precious metal catalysts required in the cathode. Within the context of MFCs, intimate coupling with photo-catalytic advanced oxidation provides a route to overcoming the limitations of MFC microbial metabolic activity (thereby enhancing energy recovery and COD reduction; COD – chemical oxygen demand) and to achieving treatment (oxidation) of hazardous micro-pollutants. Therefore, a membrane-less MFC intimately coupled with advanced oxidation environment will improve the economic feasibility.
An increasing need for new energy sources due to the concerns of the limited availability of fossil fuels has motivated the development of microbial fuel cells-based technology. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are devices which can generate electricity from organic substrates using bacteria. The primary mechanisms for electrochemically active microorganisms, which are the key biocatalysts involved in electricity generation in MFCs, to transfer electrons to the electrodes, metabolic or physiological characteristics, and the fundamentals of the anodic or cathodic reactions are well understood , . The main challenges for improving MFC performance are increasing the recovery of electrons from the substrate, increasing power, and reducing material costs. Within the context of MFCs, intimate coupling with photo-catalytic advanced oxidation provides a route to overcoming the limitations of MFC microbial metabolic activity, thereby enhancing energy recovery and reduction of chemical oxygen demand (COD). Therefore, a membrane-less MFC intimately coupled with advanced oxidation environment will improve the economic feasibility of MFCs. Furthermore, it is necessary for the broader acceptability of MFC for wastewater treatment to identify materials and structures that could minimize cost of and allow the building of pilot scale and commercial systems.
A MFC is a bioelectrochemical reactor that converts the inherent energy of organic chemical bonds to electrical energy through catalytic reactions of microorganisms under anaerobic conditions.
Organic matter can be oxidised by electrochemically active microorganisms resulting in the generation of CO2, an electron and a proton (H+). Electrons are transferred to the anode via extracellular electron transfer. These electrons are then transported to the cathode chamber via an electrical circuit, where they are consumed in an oxygen reduction process. Electro-neutrality is maintained by the transport of protons from the anode to the cathode chamber crossing a proton exchange membrane.
The overall potential difference between the anode and cathode reactions determine whether net electrical energy may be generated (oxygen reduction) or must be invested (hydrogen formation).
A typical MFC with two compartments in which the anode and cathode are separated by a proton exchange membrane, which prevents oxygen diffusion into the anode chamber. In this general set up, electrons generated in the anode are transported to the cathode by an external circuit while the generated protons are transported to the cathode through the membrane. With the help of a platinum catalyst, protons combine with electrons and oxygen in the cathode to produce water. Microbes in the anodic chamber extract electrons and protons in the dissimilative process of oxidizing organic substrates. Electric current generation is made possible by keeping microbes separated from oxygen or any other end terminal acceptor other than the anode and this requires an anaerobic anodic chamber. The biochemical reactions occurring in a microbial fuel cell are summarized below for glucose as a substrate:
Anode: C6H12O6 + 6H2O → 6CO2 + 24H+ + 24e-
Cathode: 6O2 + 24H+ + 24e → 12H2O
Overall reaction:
C6H12O6 + 6O2 → 6CO2 + 6H2O + Energy
Hence, the technical objective of Aquacell project is to develop a highly competitive industrial wastewater treatment system offering significant cost savings and added value to its customers; and to significantly reduce energy demand and requirements for sludge disposal, maximising cost efficiency and economic benefit for wastewater treatment.
Two important costs associated with MFCs are the cost of proton exchange membrane and precious metal catalysts required in the cathode. In order to overcome these limitations, an innovative MFC has been developed allowing advanced oxidation and microbial oxidation of organic substrates to occur within the MFC environment. In WP1 and WP2 a novel cathode integrated with oxygen diffusion layers and platinum-free catalyst material has been developed. The test results have demonstrated a technique to transfer protons from the anode to the cathode without the application of mediators or a proton exchange membranes as well as validated the possible application of the novel concept for the treatment of brewery wastewater with satisfactory COD removal and excellent voltage production
In work package 3 (Scalable microbial fuel cell), we designed, developed and validated a novel microbial fuel cell design, integrating: (1) intimate coupling of anode microbial oxidation with UV-TiO2 photo-catalysed advanced oxidation; and (2) membrane-less MFC cathode design utilising platinum-free catalysts and convective proton transfer. These activities lead to the validation of the Aquacell project concept and hypothesis that intimate coupling of photo-catalytic oxidation and biodegradation within a microbial fuel cell environment can improve the removal of recalcitrant micro-pollutants from wastewater. In work package 4 (MFC architecture), we developed a MFC architecture and the manufacturing processes required for commercial production and assembly of the novel MFC components and architecture. We also investigated and optimised the MFC architecture operation for the treatment of real industrial wastewater. In work package 5 (MFC wastewater treatment system), we investigated the configuration and operation of numerous MFC architecture, developed the software and hardware for process monitoring and control, undertook a study to design MFC industrial wastewater treatment and collated MFC system design and operation knowhow

Project Results:
Two important costs associated with MFCs are the cost of proton exchange membrane and precious metal catalysts required in the cathode. In order to overcome these limitations, an innovative MFC has been developed allowing advanced oxidation and microbial oxidation of organic substrates to occur within the MFC environment. Additionally, a novel cathode integrated with oxygen diffusion layers and platinum-free catalyst material has been developed. The test results have demonstrated a technique to transfer protons from the anode to the cathode without the application of mediators or a proton exchange membranes as well as validated the possible application of the novel concept for the treatment of brewery wastewater with satisfactory COD removal and excellent voltage production.
The results demonstrated, for the first time, the intimate coupling of TiO2/UV photo-catalytic oxidation and biodegradation within a microbial fuel cell environment with membrane-less MFC cathode design, utilising platinum free catalyst and convection proton transfer. The novel microbial fuel cell has been demonstrated and validated by carrying out long-term cell performance and stability tests using synthetic model wastewater as well as real industrial brewery wastewater
In work package 3 (Scalable microbial fuel cell), we designed, developed and validated a novel microbial fuel cell design, integrating: (1) intimate coupling of anode microbial oxidation with UV-TiO2 photo-catalysed advanced oxidation; and (2) membrane-less MFC cathode design utilising platinum-free catalysts and convective proton transfer. These activities lead to the validation of the Aquacell project concept and hypothesis that intimate coupling of photo-catalytic oxidation and biodegradation within a microbial fuel cell environment can improve the removal of recalcitrant micro-pollutants from wastewater. In work package 4 (MFC architecture), we developed a MFC architecture and the manufacturing processes required for commercial production and assembly of the novel MFC components and architecture. We also investigated and optimised the MFC architecture operation for the treatment of real industrial wastewater. In work package 5 (MFC wastewater treatment system), we investigated the configuration and operation of numerous MFC architecture, developed the software and hardware for process monitoring and control, undertook a study to design MFC industrial wastewater treatment and collated MFC system design and operation knowhow.
WP1 Intimately Coupled Anode
In WP1 we have further understood the design and operational parameters influencing the intimate coupling of UV- TiO2 photo-catalysed advanced oxidation and MFC anode microbial (exoelectrogenic) oxidation, targeting enhanced efficiency in COD and micropollutant reduction. MFC experimental set-up design included application of commercially available manganese dioxide catalyst coated on carbon cloth air cathode. Task 1 has investigated anode design variables within low, medium and high intensity advanced oxidation environments, enabling identification of the design principles that achieve greatest microbial growth, stability and power output. Task 2 has investigated UV-LED-TiO2 advanced oxidation, enabling identification of design principles that achieve optimum control of advanced oxidation intensity (at the anode surface) and efficiency. Utilising the knowledge gained in tasks 1 and 2, task 3 has investigated intimate coupling of UV-LED-TiO2 photo-catalysed advanced oxidation with MFC exoelectrogenic oxidation

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Significant Achievements in Work Package 1:
- Development of a microbial fuel cell (MFC), which is designed in such a way that the distance between the top (cathode) and bottom (anode and advanced oxidation) assemblies can be adjusted in order to test the effect of varying the distance between the anode and the cathode.
- The anode is made of carbon material (i.e. carbon cloth, carbon fibre, or graphite-felt). The UV advanced oxidation component is made of titanium mesh (coated with TiO2; 0 – 40 µm).
- Development of the anode assembly into two main independent units (UV /TiO2’ and microbial zones) has made it possible to optimise these units independently whilst coupled together.
- The anode assembly housing the UV LEDs (365 nm and 385 nm) is developed so that UV mercury lamps can also be installed and tested in accordance with the project work plan

WP2 Membraneless Platinum Free Cathode
In WP2 we have further understood the design and operational parameters influencing the electricity generation produced in the bio-anode. Suitable conditions to efficiently transfer protons from anode to cathode have been understood. An innovative microbial fuel cell has been developed allowing the power generation without the application of mediators or a proton exchange membrane. Moreover, science covering the main components of the platinum free cathode has been studies and applied to produce several cathodes that outperform the commercial ones. Results have validated the possible application of the Aquacell concept for the treatment of brewery wastewater with satisfactory COD removal and good power production. The project is well placed to further improvements in the following work packages
Significant Achievements in Work Package 2:
• Development of a microbial fuel cell (MFC), which is designed in such a way that the expected more critical operational parameters can be adjusted in order to test their effect in power generation.
• The anode is made of graphite-felt and this has showed to be usable for biofilm formation.
• A versatile method for cathode preparation where either catalyst layer or/and gas diffusion layer can be modified using different raw materials.
• A straightforward for preliminary test of oxygen reduction cathodes using conventional electrochemical testing in three electrode half-cell has been implemented and finally validated in the microbial fuel cell.
• Three membranes less platinum free cathodes that have showed better performance than commercial ones have been produced and evaluated in the experimental MFC
• WP3 Scalable Microbial Fuel Cell
In WP3 we have developed and validated the a novel microbial fuel cell design from Task 1 completed in P1; integrating 1) intimate coupling of anode microbial (exoelectrogenic) oxidation with UV- TiO2 photocatalysed advanced oxidation; and 2) membraneless MFC cathode design utilising platinum free catalysts and convective proton transfer.
We have investigated and optimised for treatment of a real industrial wastewater, under both medium-term trials to assess cell performance and stability with time and long term performance.
Significant Achievements in Work Package 3:
- The use of Ni or stainless steel wire as current collector in the anode has doubled the power density. The use of copper riveted cathodes has further increased power densities up to 760 mW/m2. These power densities are above the published ones for a MFC of almost 2L capacity and projected area of 90 cm2
- Overall, power generation has more than tripled due to improvements in wiring connectivity of anode and cathode.
- The cathode material coated at industrial scale has proved to be suitable for the production of the cathode at pilot plant scale. This cathode has proved to be efficient in controlling O2 diffusion through the cathode into the MFC compartment. Cathode internal resistance has been reduced in almost 60% by proper selection of cathode material
- Data shown in this study indicate that the effect of flow rate is time dependent, implying that when a microbial fuel cell is operated continuously for long periods at a high flow rate a higher voltage is generated than at a low flow rate. This observation has an important implication on the design and operation of a large scale MFC system.
- With synthetic wastewater, a maximum power density (over 400 mW/m2) and a maximum operating voltage of over 700 mV was achieved. These results indicate that the target specification of >0.6V has been met and exceeded. For the scalable microbial fuel design, the parameter 1kW/m3, is expected to be a linear function of the anode and cathode specific surface areas. Overall, designing a microbial fuel cell with high surface area is a key factor for increasing power density when scaling up the MFC system
- These results show, for the first time, the intimate coupling of TiO2/UV photo-catalytic oxidation and biodegradation within a microbial fuel cell environment with membrane-less MFC cathode design, utilising platinum free catalyst and convection proton transfer. The concept has been demonstrated and validated by carrying out long-term cell performance and stability tests using synthetic model wastewater as well as real industrial brewery wastewater. The system efficiency and cell performance has been successfully demonstrated by analysing the COD removal and voltage and power generation
- The results show that real industrial wastewater can be used as feed for the developed MFC and a COD removal of 70 – 90% has been achieved.
WP4 MFC Architecture
In WP 4, based on the scalable MFC developments and successful performance validation studies using real industrial wastewaters from WP3, we have designed, developed and assembled a large scale microbial fuel cell. The following major components of the MFC have been developed and validated: (1) TiO2 coating process; (2) UV module consisting of two UV lamps with a power of 75 Watts and UV housing; (3) cathodes consisting of PTFE layers and impregnated with GP material and manganese based catalysts; (4) the MFC architecture assembly has also been successfully developed. In this case, a vertical modular design which can allow continuous flow of treated wastewater in multiple cells has been developed. Testing and optimisation of the microbial fuel have also been completed including modifications to further improve and optimise the performance and robustness of the developed microbial cell, achieving the defined technical and commercial specifications

Significant Achievements in Work Package 4:
• Dynamic Flow Simulation has been used to design two important features of pilot MFC: manifold for inlet distribution and the drainage collector.
• A scalable industrial process has been validated to produce membraneless platinum free oxygen reducing cathodes at a pilot scale: 1400 x420 mm.
• Anode and cathode design: size, shape, structure, and materials; anode specific: integration of advanced oxidation intimate coupling; and cathode specific: design to ensure airflow over outside of cathode structure
• Method of anode and cathode integration: single or multiple anode or cathode structures integrated within a unit structure; single or multiple unit structures linked within a large module structure; and method of anode, cathode or unit structure linkage (series or parallel
• Design for manufacturability of architecture components: number of components per architecture; and complexity of component manufacturability and integration with architecture
• Successful development of scaled up MFC components and their installation encompassing major components: (1) TiO2/UV assembly, (2) anode (using carbon fibre and graphite felt), cathodes with PFTE layers and GP material and manganese based catalysts.
• The photo-catalytic rate constant on PEO-treated surfaces can be increased by a factor of up to about 10, compared with that for an untreated Ti substrate. This is consistent with the fact that the PEO coatings had relatively high contents of the anatase phase (over 90% by volume was achieved), and also high levels of surface connected porosity.
• The results show that real industrial wastewater can be used as feed for the developed MFC. TSS and COD removals of over 98% have been achieved. The validation tests showed that the developed scaled up microbial fuel cell could maintain a high voltage (500 – 600 mV) even with a load connected to the circuit.
• Development a MFC architecture achieving a treatment efficiency of 10kg COD/m3.day at a cost of less than €10,000 per m3
• Development of the manufacturing processes required for commercial production and assembly of the novel MFC components and architecture, including anode TiO2 coating process, UV module development and validation and development, validation of cathode oxygen reduction catalyst deposition process and PTFE diffusion layers deposition process.
WP5 MFC Wastewater Treatment System
In WP 5 we have investigated the configuration and operation of numerous MFC architecture, developed the software and hardware for process monitoring and control, undertook a study to design MFC industrial wastewater treatment and collated MFC system design and operation knowhow
Significant Achievements in Work Package 5
The results have demonstrated the successful development and validation of the Aquacell process monitoring and control system with hardware and the user interface, satisfying the software user interface requirements for the Aquacell project. How operational parameters such as temperature and pH can influence the performance of the developed microbial fuel cells have also been achieved.
Potentiometric measurement of cell, anode and cathode potential to detect any problem either in the anode or cathode element relating to malfunction have been established and demonstrated that can be implemented in an Industrial Wastewater Treatment System
An Operation Plant Manual and a Process and Instrumentation Diagram have been produced for the MFC wastewater treatment pilot plant. An LCA and Impact assessment comparing MFC technology with anaerobic or aerobic wastewater treatment has also been accomplished.

Potential Impact:
Integrating the principles of ‘membraneless cell design via convective proton transfer’ and ‘intimate coupling with photocatalytic advanced oxidation’ the AquaCell project will develop a commercially viable, scalable and modular microbial fuel cell design for the treatment of industrial wastewater, achieving:
• capital cost equivalence with existing aerobic treatment solutions;
• significant operational cost savings, realised through:
o recovery of organic content as electrical energy & achieving system sustainability (self-powering);
o enhanced treatment efficiency enabling water re-use for on-site non-potable applications;
o significant cost reductions for treated wastewater effluent discharge to sewer;
• Flexible design and operation and thus customisation to specific end-user (sector) requirements and functionality, enabling treatment of industrial wastewaters with low to high chemical / biological oxygen demand of varying composition and degradability and/or containing hazardous micropollutants;
The project will result in a pilot scale MFC system demonstrated for a target industrial wastewater. AquaCell will generate ~€40 million business growth for its SMEs within a 3 year period creating 94 jobs; and has the potential to benefit >29,700 major water using SMEs within the wider European manufacturing sector
Main Dissemination Activities
Website: The AquaCell project website has been active since the 1st March 2011 and contains non-confidential information relating to the AquaCell project as well as a private area for consortium members. The project website is located at http://www.fp7-aquacell.eu/ and additional information about this dissemination activity can be found in the report on “AquaCell Deliverable 6.1 rev1.0_ProjectWebsite.doc” which has been submitted previously and is embedded in the document below.

Trade Show: Members of the AquaCell team attended the Aquatech Amsterdam 2011 event on the 1st-4th November 2011. This is the world’s leading trade exhibition for process, drinking and waste water and had 21,500 visitors with 881 separate exhibitors. Although it was too early to present the AquaCell project without patent protection being in place and without a trial of the complete system, the event was used to:
• Investigate the current competition and market potential of the AquaCell product
• Make contact with potential users of the technology and informally gauge interest in the AquaCell product

Publishable Materials – Brochures, Flyers, Exhibition Banner: A range of collateral material has been prepared and produced for the AquaCell project which will be used to generate interest in and knowledge of the project within the wastewater treatment industry. This collateral will be used after completion of WP3 at a range of trade shows and industry events as well as in targeted mail-shots if appropriate. This material is available in the report “Deliverable6 2AquaCell Publishable Material Sept2011 v0 4” which has been submitted previously and is embedded in the document below:

WP1, WP2, WP3,WP4 & WP5 Non-confidential results; Non-confidential summaries of the results of WP1 to WP5 have been produced for dissemination purposes. However, on advice from Intellectual Property advisors we previously had been advised not to publish these until the patent applications have been filed and a priority date given in case any information in these summaries weakens the patent case. Now the patent application has been filed with the UK Intellectual Property Office, the publication of these WP1 to WP5 non-confidential results occurred as a presentation at the 6th European Waste Water Management Conference & Exhibition and these summaries have also been placed on the AquaCell website.
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Non-Confidential Company Discussions – Brewing; Some potential users of the AquaCell technology in the Brewing industry have been approached to discuss trialling and exploiting the product once it has been developed. Carlsberg UK have agreed in principal to host a prototype once the product has been developed sufficiently in order to assess whether it will be effective in an industrial setting. This proof of principal in an industrial environment will be an important part of the commercial case and provide a verified cost-benefit analysis as well as additional collateral in the form of a case study and company endorsement. The results of this trial are important both in terms of dissemination and commercialisation. Carlsberg also provided the effluent water from their brewing operations to assist in the prototype trials.
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Non-Confidential Company Discussions – Baking;Members of the consortium have had non-confidential discussions with Warburtons – a large enterprise producing baking products. They produce a lot of waste water, mainly from the crumpet plants they have set up (where a lot of yeast is used) and have to pay for the privilege of disposing of it. They are looking at anaerobic methods of reducing the amount of COD and would be interested in Aquacell if it becomes a commercial proposition. There are a lot of other large players in this industry who will be contacted after the completion of WP3 to generate further interest.

Press Release; Kerotonite have prepared a press release relating to the technology applied in the AquaCell project. This has been reviewed by the consortium to ensure that it does not contain any material that could be regarded as disclosing information important to the patent applications. Various alterations have been made to the original text and the article is now ready for publication.

Non-Confidential Company Discussions – Company visits; Kerotonite were consistently referring to their involvement in the Aquacell project during customer sales/technical visits throughout 2011: there are fifteen of these logged in their activity log (companies ranging from Magnesium Elektron and Superform Ltd, to Domino UK and SPTS, and C-MAC Microtechnology, and the Korean Defence Development Agency) – generally with audiences of five or more engineers in each meeting. This activity has been used to disseminate and raise awareness of the project within a broad technical community.

During 2012 there were many presentations to customers where Steve Hutchins and James Curran of Keronite included discussion of the AquaCell project and the technology. Specifically, companies visited and presented to are as follows:


• Stryker Orthopaedics
• Coarc
• Edwards Vacuum
• Selex Galileo
• MBDA
• Qioptiq
• Ghd
• Red Bull Racing
• Ultra Electronics
• Precision Air Systems
• Cobham Mission Equipment
• The Royal Society - Meet the Press event
• SPTS
• Domino UK Ltd
• Compressor Products International
• Spinlock
• Audi AG
• C-MAC
• Huxley Bertram
• Applied Materials
• Aixtron
• BioMet
• De La Rue
• Superform
• Magnesium Elektron
• Messier Dowty
• Smith & Nephew
• Institute of Materials
• Shearline
• Oxford Instruments
• Cosworth.


During 2011 and 2012, IST individuals Geoffrey Archenhold, Matt Fitzpatrick and other members visited a number of companies to present and discuss the technology. Specifically, companies visited and presented to are as follows:

• ACDC
• ADB France
• Altima
• Arups
• ATG
• Avnet
• B&T Associates
• B3 Building
• Clearvision
• Commercial Lighting
• Cooper Lighting
• Crescent Lighting
• DMT
• Ecopac
• EDL Lighting
• Eulum Design
• Excled
• Farnell
• Fortronix
• Freestyle Lighting
• Havells
• Hodder Partners
• IBT
• iGuzzini
• Illumination LED
• Intersil
• Kemps
• Kompass
• LED Zip and Century Lighting
• Lightfactor
• Lighting Industry Assocation
• Lightmaster
• Liteplan
• Lumenata
• Marl International
• Michael Jones and Lightfactor
• Oldham Lighting
• Osram
• Recis
• RS Components
• Scolmore
• Seoul Semiconductor
• SONY
• SpanLite
• ST
• Strand Services
• Strategic Lighting
• Studio Tech
• Thorn Light
• University of Wolverhampton
• Whitecroft Lighting
• Young Electronics

Kerotonite Conference Presentations; James Curran from Kerotonite has presented at various conferences in which he has made lectures of various length, to audience of 50+ people or more, and with various levels of reference to the Aquacell and the technology development therein. These conferences were:

• ASETS Defense 2011 (New Orleans, February 2011): Presentation of "Plasma electrolysis surface treatment of Al, Ti and Mg" to an audience of around 120, mostly from form US aerospace and surface finishing industry.
• Institute for Metal Finishing IMFAir2011 (Cosford, June 2011): a 30 minute talk to a specialist community in the domain of surface treatment.
• European Materials Congress 2011 (Montpellier, France, September 2011): three 15 minute presentations and discussions, including one in a symposium dedicated to porous structures, and one in a photocatalysis symposium.
• Cambridge and Anglian Materials Society (Cambridge, November 2011): a 90 minute evening talk, in which James Curran spoke about surface area, porous structure and photocatalysis of TiO2 to a broad audience of UK industrialists, engineers and materials scientists.
• Next Generation Composite Wing Seminar (Wrexham, March 2012): Presentation of "Keronite Oxide Coatings for Al, Ti and Mg" to an audience of around 100 mainly from UK and European aerospace, materials and surface finishing industries.
• SURFIN (Las Vegas, July 2012): Presentation of "Aerospace applications of Keronite protective coatings for Al, Ti and Mg" to an audience of over 100 mainly US aerospace and surface finishing industry.
• SURFIN (Las Vegas, July 2012): Presentation of "Nanocrystalline Oxide Coatings on Al, Mg & Ti, Formed by Plasma Electrolysis" to an audience of around 70 people from the US surface finishing industry.
• BioTiNet Meeting (Cambridge, January 2013): Presentation of "An industrial perspective of plasma electrolytic oxide coatings" to an audience of 50, mostly academics and industry experts from European orthopaedic materials organisations.

Conference Attendance by atg; 17th European Biosolids and Organic Resources Conference (Leeds)
This conference provided additional knowledge on the growing market on Energy from Waste which encompasses Aquacell.

Discussions as a result with one of the conference presenters, University of Glamorgan, who are also investigating MFC technology, both as a device and also in how MFC’s can be a part of a whole energy recovery process. Information exchanged and co-operative visits to SERC facilities proposed. Although touched upon at the conference MFC is not a mainstream product yet.

Members of the AquaCell team attended and presented a paper at the 6th European Waste Water Management Conference held on 9th and 10th October 2012 at Lancashire County Cricket Club, Manchester, UK. The European Waste Water Management Conference is an event that deals specifically with problems and solutions for the management and treatment of wastewater. The event attracts over 200 participants from across Europe and incorporates a programme that includes 50 technical papers across two days. Key themes of the conference are asset optimisation, energy reduction, low energy treatment options, industrial wastewater, instrumentation, process automation, control, novel process options and improving solids capture and use. The team presented a paper entitled ‘A novel microbial fuel cell design for enhanced treatment of industrial wastewater and electricity generation’.

Grants; Partner Keronite has submitted an application for the International Titanium Association Grant (www.titanium.org). If awarded to Keronite, the Grant would support marketing and dissemination activities to promote the AquaCell technology. A Cambridge University endorsement for the application was provided in support of the grant. The grant application was not successful although all nominations are reconsidered for the following two years.

Published Papers; James Curran and colleagues have published papers concerning the technology. These are as follows:

Title: The production of anatase-rich photoactive coatings by plasma electrolytic oxidation
Publication: Surface and Coatings Technology, 2
Authors: LK Mirelman, JA Curran, TW Clyne
Ref: Volume 207, 25 August 2012, Pages 66–71
(http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0257897212004823)

Title: Plasma electrolytic oxidation for surface protection of aluminium, magnesium and titanium alloys
Publication: Transactions of the Institute of Metal Finishing
Authors: Dr James A Curran
Ref: Volume 89, Number 6, November 2011 , pp. 295-297(3)
(http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/174591911X13188464808830)

Title: Plasma electrolysis of the heavier metals (Chapter 6)
Publication: Jahrbuch Oberflachentechnik
Authors: Curran JA and Kuhn AT
Ref: Band 67, December 2011, Eugen G. Leuze Verlag

Title: Plasma electrolytic oxidation of aluminium networks to form a metal-cored ceramic composite hybrid material
Publication: Composites Science and Technology 71 (2011)
Authors: C.S. Dunleavy, J.A. Curran, T.W. Clyne
Ref: Pages 908–915.

Title: Sparking new interest in PEO coatings
Publication: Products Finishing Magazine, Products Finishing(Cincinnati) 75 (9),May 2011
Authors: Dr James A. Curran
Ref: Pages 32-35

The following are papers due for publication in 2013:

Title: High surface area coatings on titanium and aluminium
Publication: Surface and Coatings Technology, 2013
Authors: LK Mirelman, JA Curran, TW Clyne
Ref: tbc

Title: A review of plasma electrolytic oxide coatings for photocatalytic applications
Publication: tbc
Authors: LK Mirelman, JA Curran, TW Clyne
Ref: tbc

Title: High thermal conductivity coatings for Al, Mg and Ti
Publication:tbc
Authors: JA Curran, L Gale, TW Clyne
Ref: tbc

Title: PhD Thesis: Plasma electrolytic oxide coatings for photocatalysis
Publication: University of Cambridge, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, 2013
Authors: LK Mirelman
Ref: tbc

Conference / Exhibition Attendance by IST; IST attended a number of conferences and exhibitions over the course of 2011/2012. These are listed below.

PLASA Exhibition Sep-11 London
Strategies in Light Oct-11 Milan
LuxLIVE Exhibition Nov-11 Earls Court, London
Photonics Leadership Group Nov-11 London
Photonics Leadership Group Dec-11 London
The ARC Show Feb-12 Business Design Centre, London
Ecobuild Mar-12 ExCel, London
Fortronics event at Williams F1 Mar-12 Oxford
euroLED Jun-12 NEC Birmingham

Published Video; The following is a link to Aquacell video, demonstrating the achievement of the aims of the project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1OYY4u0PqA

Exploitation Activities
Trademark
The “AquaCell” trademark was applied for on 22 July 2011. However, a similar name “Aquacel” is already owned by Hercules Incorporation, an American company. After negotiation, Hercules Incorporation have allowed the AquaCell consortium to register the Aquacell mark in the European Union ("EU") under certain conditions. A trademark agreement has been signed by Chris Purslow representing the Aquacell consortium.



Patent Applications

Two patent specification documents were produced by the AquaCell research team entitled “Intimate coupling of advanced oxidation within MFC” and “Convective proton transfer (Proton shower)”. These were discussed within the consortia and a detailed patent prior art review was also undertaken by HERI to ascertain whether there is freedom to operate for each application. Since both specifications are related, a decision was made to combine them at this stage with the possibility of splitting into two patent applications later in the filing process.

The current status of the patent applications is that the detailed patent reviews were examined by the inventors to ascertain the novelty of each idea. The plan for protection is:
1. Identify whether the patent specifications have novelty with regards to the prior art documents identified in the detailed patent search
2. Decide whether to file two patent applications or combine both disclosures into one application
3. Draft initial patent claims
4. Meet with patent attorney to draft patent applications.
5. File application(s)

Patent applications were submitted to patent and trade mark attorneys in March 2012. In September 2012, the team received a response from the patent attorneys reporting that all of the references were categorised as indicating technological background and/or state of the art, rather than being indicative of a lack of novelty or inventive step.

The project team is facing a deadline of 30th March 2013 for filing any patent applications overseas based on the application, such as a PCT application. There is also a deadline for adding further information to the application. In November 2012, further information was submitted in support of the patent application which will be included in the PCT application. ATG is progressing the patent application.
Potential customer contacts made by atg.

The technology basis has been presented during meetings to the following large potential users or consultants. The discussions have been informal to technologists. No detailed supporting design information has been presented to date due to the IP and patent issues not yet resolved. However in each case interest was generated and it was clear that the organisations all had at least individuals, and often small teams, looking at energy from waste.

United Utilities – Water and Waste Utility
Yorkshire Water – Water and Waste Utility
Morgan Sindall – Consultant and Contractor
Ove Arup – Consultant
Carlsberg - Brewery

Based on these conversations it is clear that there are immediate routes to market that can be opened up quickly once we have IP issues finalised

Development and Immediate Exploitation of the TiO2 photocatalytic surface coating and UV LED assay for synergistic intimate coupling of photocatalysed advanced oxidation and exoelectrogenic advanced oxidation

Atg and Keronite are working on the development and exploitation of the photocatalytic surface coating for synergistic intimate coupling of photocatalysed advanced oxidation and exoelectrogenic advanced oxidation

This has shown some promise and atg/Keronite are looking to fund a PhD student to further test the process with a view to launching a product based on this aspect of the MFC project sometime during 2013. Atg are also evaluating further work on the LED development to investigate if this is applicable to the next generation of atg products can be implemented

Description of Significant Results Obtained
• The Aquacell Web Portal for partner and public use has that has been up http://www.fp7-aquacell.eu/ Deliverable 6.1 has continuously been updated.
• A total of 5 Scientific Publications. have been published during the project duration and over 134 Dissemination Activities were completed ranging from website, brochures, exhibition banners, attendance at trade show and conferences, presentations at conferences and company specific visits. Including a number of conferences attended by the team and a number of technical papers have been written and published by members of the team, where the AquaCell technology was discussed and/or presented.
• An AquaCell video has been prepared demonstrating the achievement of the aims of the project and is live on the project web site under news as well as You Tube as per link below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1OYY4u0PqA
• The publications of WP1 to WP5 non-confidential results occurred as a presentation at the 6th European Waste Water Management Conference & Exhibition
• We have been granted the AquaCell trademark and patent application, encompassing the main innovations has been submitted. In September 2012, the team received a response from the patent attorneys reporting that all of the references were categorised as indicating technological background and/or state of the art, rather than being indicative of a lack of novelty or inventive step.
• Atg the coordinator and Keronite are looking at exploiting of the TiO2 photocatalytic surface coating for synergistic intimate coupling of photocatalysed advanced oxidation and exoelectrogenic advanced oxidation with a view to launching a product based on this aspect of the MFC project sometime during 2013
• Carlsberg UK have agreed in principal to host a prototype once the product has been developed sufficiently in order to assess whether it will be effective in an industrial setting. Carlsberg have already shown an interest in the product and have provided the effluent water from their brewing operations to assist in the prototype trials

List of Websites:
http://www.fp7-aquacell.eu/
The following is a link to the AquaCell video, demonstrating the achievement http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1OYY4u0PqA