Friday, June 24, 2011

Technology Spotlight: Energy from Stormwater

Over the years regulations have targeted point sources of pollution and treatment has been focused on discharges from such sources. Almost 40 years since the Clean Water Act, we have started looking at watershed approach to deal with non-point sources of pollution.  EPA now recognizes that stormwater management is of prime importance and regulatory interest is being focused at treating stormwater. This will eventually lead to cleaner water bodies - streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans. Dealing with these non-point sources is a daunting task, not only because of the size and scope of the issues involved, but also due to the wide variation of regulatory and permitting structures that have developed all over the country since the 70s. It will be interesting to see how this works out in the coming decade and a regional approach with national oversight will be very welcome.

SmartSponge by AbTech Industries
As a part of Proteus Consulting's Technology Exchange, we would like to highlight SmartSponge by AbTech Industries. This 'sponge' has tremendous porosity and soaks up hydrocarbons while allowing the flow of water. What we find interesting is that the collected hydrocarbons can be harvested for energy in waste-to-energy facilities, cement kilns, asphalt plants, etc. Of course, the 'sponge' also works at decreasing the suspended solids by limited pore size, and possibly also coliform bacteria by impregnating the 'sponge' with antibacterial agents. We are a bit skeptic about the antibacterial 'sponge' because bacteria will soon develop resistance to the agent - it is after all the law of evolution! However, we are quite impressed by the ability of this 'sponge' to absorb hydrocarbons and possibility of using it as a fuel.

By Technology Exchange, Proteus Consulting brings forth new ideas and innovative products to our clients. These products have been researched and vetted for the water industry by us and have been recommended only after we have been convinced that they have a potential to help our clients achieve their goals to provide a clean sustainable world.

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