View Full Version : Possible solar application

David W Pratt
05-16-2011, 09:26 AM
what, if anything, is wrong with this use of solar power?
Install at sewage treatment plant.
Use electricity to electrolyze effluent water.
Use oxygen to final treat effluent.
Use hydrogen to help power multifuel generators (already consuming methane.
Result: cleaner effluent, more power generation, possibly even selling power back to util.
Critique on!

Dan McCosh
05-16-2011, 10:49 AM
Treating sewage with oxygen prevents the formation of methane, so your proposal is a kind of chemical gridlock. You would be better off using the solar energy directly.

05-16-2011, 11:01 AM
Your idea is not that far-reaching. However hydrolysis / hydrogen storage is not very efficient (yet?)

I believe the local water works already produces electricity using methane from the anaerobic (i.e. no extra oxygen) digesters and at another site (fresh-water treatment near here) they have a huge photovoltaic array with which they contribute towards operating the pumps on the wells.

Renewable sources have to be diverse and distributed to compensate for the fact that they rely on various meteorological, physical, seasonal and logistic conditions.

The prime issue at present is storage - not generation.

Gernot H.

David W Pratt
05-16-2011, 11:34 AM
Dan, yeah, that's why I would put the oxygen in the final effluent, long after the anaerobic step. Yes, cost would be an issue, but the Feds might offer a grant to see if it would work, and once installed, maintenance should be minimal.

Ron Williamson
05-16-2011, 11:46 AM
Solar thermal might be more useful to keep the digestion cooking at a higher temperature.