Academic Venture Fund - 2019

Expanding AnyTown USA Wastewater Treatment Facilities into Local Microgrid Hubs

Ithaca Waste Water Treatment Plant

Wastewater treatment facilities are promising hubs for integrating food-water-energy systems. However, most of these facilities do not recover energy or nutrients, and they account for up to 4% of all U.S. electricity consumption. Researchers will use the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility as a case study to test emerging technologies that increase energy production and nutrient recovery, and create a tool that guides these municipal facilities in modifying operations. This project also develops networks and markets for upcycling food waste, and aims to balance regional nutrient loops between rural producers and urban consumers.

Investigators: Ruth Richardson, Lori Leonard, Jeff Tester, Francis Vanek, Fengqi You