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Low-temperature Anaerobic Digestion treatment of low-strength wastewaters

Periodic Reporting for period 4 - Lt-AD (Low-temperature Anaerobic Digestion treatment of low-strength wastewaters)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2018-05-31

NVP Energy Limited has developed an innovative Low Temperature Anaerobic Digestion (“Lt-AD”) wastewater treatment process that addresses mandatory treatment for low strength, low temperature wastewater at a fraction of the cost of other wastewater treatment technologies. In addition, while alternative wastewater treatment technologies require a large footprint, have high energy costs and offer no payback to the customer, NVP Energy's solution has a modular compact plant footprint, offers dramatically reduced operating costs (up to 60%) and generates sufficient energy as a by-product to generate revenue and thereby to offer a payback on capital spend averaging 3 years.
The Company’s technology has global application through its unique energy positive low temperature Anaerobic Digestion process which treats wastewater at temperatures below 20°C (unique for AD technology). Its prospective customers are in the global Food & Drink Industries (Dairy, Meat Processing, Brewing, Distilling, Malting, Bottling, and Pharma) and also the global Municipal Wastewater industry.

NVP Energy offers a solution to enable customers to significantly reduce their OPEX expenditure on wastewater through reducing the chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total suspended solids (TSS) concentrations in their effluent with minimum operating costs and utilising a usable, revenue generating, biogas by-product. The technologies currently employed for low temperature, low strength wastewater treatment are Aerobic Activated Sludge treatment or Membrane Bio-reactor treatment. Both technologies are well understood and market accepted but due to their high operational costs offer no, or an unacceptable, payback period.

NVP Energy, by comparison, offers customers the opportunity to benefit from:
• Reduced energy input costs (due to its operation at low temperature);
• Substantially reduced trade effluent charges where these are applicable;
• Vastly reduced costs of sludge removal due to the process producing minimal sludge; and
• A by-product of high quality biogas that is available for reuse by the customer to generate heat and/or electricity on site.

As a result, customers can convert wastewater treatment from being an operational cost into a new revenue stream. NVP Energy’s wastewater treatment occurs at ambient temperatures without loss of efficiency, requiring no additional heat input and allowing NVP Energy’s solution to work at very short Hydraulic Retention Times (HRT) of only 8 to 12 hours.
WP1 Managing the Project

Description of Main Results obtained in Work package:

• Project on budget and on schedule with risk and quality management plans in effect

WP2 Market Channel and Supply Chain Barriers

Description of Main Results obtained in Work package 2:

• Developed a full understanding of the dairy Wastewater Treatment Market including regulatory requirements and treatment methodologies
• Market Segmentation Plan and Value Proposition for four key markets defined and validated
• Tax regime and financial incentives in target countries defined and validated
• Direction of fiscal regime in target countries researched
• US Market entry strategy defined

WP3 Scaled Development Demonstrator

Description of Main Results obtained in Work package 3:

• System Operational and consistently achieving 80% COD removal

WP4 Trials, Regulation and Environment

Description of Main Results obtained in Work package 4:

• Trials and Commissioning Plan completed with very satisfactory results
• Lt-AD start-up phase completed, currently treating all site wastewater

WP5 Exploitation and Value Chain

Description of Main Results obtained in Work package 5:

• Multiple engagements with potential value chains for delivering sales, constructing/installing systems and supporting field units
• Aligned with several Wastewater Treatment Providers and actively submitting joint bids for projects
• Partnering Strategy defined and initiated - engaged with a a number of potential partners
• Patents pending in Europe and patent granted in the US

WP6 Exploitation and Value Chain

The technology has been promoted at numerous separate events in the last twelve months including the H2020 SME Innovators Summit. NVPE are also actively engaged with a number of potential clients with a number of proposals having been issued and NVPE a currently at advanced stage discussions with a number of potential clients in the UK. NVPE have also engaged with professional coaches to refine the partnering strategy and to develop an understanding of licensing agreements and develop a licensing program which will be further rolled out during 2018. NVP Energy have also engaged with the University of Washington and defined a US market entrance strategy

Project Website has been developed and is live, see: .
It will continue to be updated for the duration of the project.

NVPE have also participated in the IE Expo in Shanghai, WEFTEC in Chicago and Aquatech in Amsterdam

Description of Main Results obtained in Work package 6:

• Participation in multiple events raising awareness of the Lt-AD technology
• Winners of the prestigious Irish Times Innovation Award for Energy and Environment
NVP Energy provides a new, unique, sustainable retrofit or new build solution for the treatment of WW. The technology is best located after primary settlement (mostly in municipal settings) or after dissolved air flotation (preliminary treatment) in a typical dairy plant. Food & Drinks and municipal sectors generate vast quantities of low strength wastewater requiring significant treatment prior to discharge. Currently, low strength wastewater treatment needs are met by aerobic treatment, along with low rate AD for sludge digestion and these technologies are largely energy intensive. NVPE provides a new solution for the unmet need of efficient low strength WW treatment, for producers who are otherwise limited in terms of WW treatment for their low strength WW effluent.

Target sector need: Discussions with potential purchasers from the dairy sector highlighted the following needs from wastewater treatment:

• Reduced operational costs - commonly used aerobic treatment systems are largely reliant on fossil fuels to supply the high aeration input requirements (approximately 1kW/1kg COD removed);
• Decreased sludge quantities - sludge requires thickening, dewatering and disposal activities, which typically make up about 50% of a plant’s annual operating expenditure;
• A modular treatment solution - existing aerobic treatment systems have a large footprint on-site resulting in loss of valuable area which could be used to expand processing operations;
• Generation of renewable energy – existing aerobic treatment activities require energy input with no energy output. Lt-AD generation of biogas for heating and power use on site is a seen as a major positive for users.

Lt-AD can offset 93% of the carbon the process produces. NVPE have quantified if Lt-AD is adopted by the municipal and dairy industries, Ireland and the UK could reduce CO2 emissions by 512,500 tons/year. It is estimated that similar results would be seen in the food and drink processing industry, NVPE plan on carrying out research to quantify these carbon savings. The carbon footprint reductions are due to the combined effect of the generation of the biogas and the offsetting of fossil fuels required for company operation.