We are a Research and Development company that holds nine US patents relevant to water cleanup and nutrient recovery.
Please consider the following for more information on what we are doing
Water Turbidity Measurement.
Helmet to prevent concussion.
Swimming pool safety.
Phosphorus recovery from human waste.
Neutralize water toxins with electricity while taking out salt and radiation.
Description of our innovative solution to a 21st century Water Works and Human Sewage Treatment System
We remove Total Phosphorus (TP) from water in a series of steps. Originating water may be salt or fresh and contaminated with algae, micro biological materials, toxins, and radiation. On intake water is filtered to remove plants (algae/cyanobacteria) for separate processing to fertilizer. Filtered water is sent to an apparatus that sterilizes the water and removes toxins then concentrates the TP for a separate removal process (8354030/ 8524080). That portion of water that is TP free is removed. High concentration TP water is sent to processing by the apparatus described in 8734646/ 9272929. Remaining water with still some portion of TP is processed by the apparatus described in the last part of 8187861. All water is now below the criterion of total phosphorus (TP) concentration of 10 parts-per-billion (ppb). All TP removed is in a form that can be recycled to the agricultural setting.
Additional Supporting Evidence
A most important point is that our procedures and the description of our apparatus is available for public viewing by anyone on the web who reads the patent descriptions. Any fabricator anywhere in the world can put together the devices and process the water and check the results. This check on our work goes well beyond peer review. This goes to real world application and verification. United States (US) intellectual property rights do not extend outside the country. Someone in Canada could read our patents and follow the instructions. They could be processing water in a short time and not legally owe us anything for patent infringement. As a courtesy we would hope they send us the report of the results of their operations that we might post those on our webpage as additional proof of concept. Perhaps more water experts here in the US would then adopt them and help spread the word. We qualify for licensing fees here in the US where our intellectual property rights can be enforced and we be paid a reasonable licensing fee for our years of work and contributions to the knowledge base of water cleanup.
The Process Is Run In Batch Or Continuous Mode
The critical path in processing is the deionization phase. Only batch mode is possible at this time because of the high voltage electricity needed to sterilize and detoxify the water in 8354030/ 8524080. However, it should be noted that a modularized processor of 2000 L (liter) capacity can turn over 1000 L about every 10 min with relatively good water to start. The heavily ionized water keeps accumulating in the bottom of the reactance tank until a criterion for cleanup is reached. Two such units side by side operating intermittently would produce what would seem like continuous flow. It is like the several cylinders in an automobile engine. Each performs its function batch but the sequence of several in a carefully orchestrated order presents the appearance of a continuous flow to the operator of the vehicle. It is possible that with enough units of large enough size operating in a coordinated manner production would exceed the flow requirements of 2 million gallons per day.
Lets say you went to Mars.
How do you recycle all of your resources so you can stay indefinitely? You would drink water then pass it as urine. I don't want to gross you out but if you stay with the problem you can see the challenge. How do you get the nutrients out to grow more food? How do you get the water out that you need every day for hydration? It turns out from our study of water chemistry that a person on Mars is no different than a person on Earth. The water cycle is a closed system with us. The urine has exactly the nutrients to grow the food the person needs and the water volume is exactly the same as his/her hydration needs.
We took a look at the history of the present sanitation system in the developed world and the developing world and realized something has to change. Specifically, how we handle waste, which are the nutrients to the foods we eat. We believe the time is right for a new paradigm in sanitation wherein one pipe comes into the residence and all water is used at that user site. No problems are sent to your neighbors downstream. Our suggestions for the grey water are to repurpose for local irrigation. The solid waste should go to a methane digester. Please see our Bioremediation Separation System And Method For Human Waste, US Patent No. 9272929 issued 03/01/2016 which is also referenced above in the list of publications.
We typically use standard designs of experiments from well known reference books.
Our References For Experimental Design And Data Analysis include:
Our preferred book for setting up true laboratory experimental designs is
Experimental Designs by William G. Cochran & Gertrude M. Cox.
Publisher: Wiley; 2nd edition (1992) ISBN-10: 0471545678. ISBN-13: 978-0471545675.
Sometimes we have data after the fact and it is not a true experimental design we use
Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Research by Donald T. Campbell & Julian Stanley.
Publisher: Rand McNally and Company (1963) ISBN-10: 0395307872. ISBN-13: 978-0395307878.
If the data set is small (N<25) we use
Nonparametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences by Sidney Siegel & N. John Castellan.
Publisher: McGraw-Hill (1988) ISBN-10: 0070573573, ISBN-13: 9780070573574.
If the data set is large (N>25) we use
Statistical Principles in Experimental Design by Benjamin J. Winer.
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co.; 2nd edition (1971) ISBN-10: 0070709815. ISBN-13: 978-0070709812
Sometimes the data require a Bayesian solution in which case we use
Statistics for Social Scientists by William L. Hays.
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston; 2nd edition (1973) ISBN-10: 0030779456. ISBN-13: 978-0030779459.
Experiment Materials, Equipment, Test Duration And Conditions.
We have done many experiments over the last eight years on P recovery which lead up to our first patent on the topic 8187861. I will describe a typical experiment with its typical result and explain what the results indicate. For example, twenty 100 ml containers are assigned to one of four conditions hence five separate tests of each (N=20). The first condition is the control (C) with nothing added. The second condition is experimental and has a measure of artificial fertilizer added (E1) which may be from any one of several commercial sources. Some are granular and some are liquid. Typically the hydroponic sources are liquid. The third condition is a second experimental (E2) condition and has twice (double) the measure of the first E1. The last or fourth condition (E3) is twice (double) the measure of the third (E2). Five (n=5) containers are assigned to each of the four conditions. The originating water base is typically locally collected rain water if we are doing a fresh water test, and seeded with a mixture of algae as described in patent 8734646/ 9272929. The position of the jars is varied in a typical Latin square design and an artificial light source is positioned over the containers. In some experiments but not always a bubbler is inserted in the containers to circulate the water. We typically use a bubbler if the containers are 500 ml or larger or if we are doing a special growing experiment on a strain of algae/cyanobacteria. The experiment runs for the scheduled time which is typically three days (72 h) if a test of 8734646/ 9272929. In the case of a test of patent 8187861 an iron rod is then inserted in each container and left for a scheduled time typically two days (48 h). These times were selected based on our calculation of flow rates reported in the patents. An electronic measuring device such as a Hanna tester is used to get a digital display of the TP level in each condition. The typical result is that all (100 percent) of the P has been taken up by the algae and then the iron bar. This is the expected result. It is well known in the water literature. See for example Martin Chaplin's highly respected website Water Structure and Science http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/. We know that algae removes nutrients such as P and iron also removes P. Test results will show the values of TP in all of the containers at essentially zero or as close to that within the published instrument error. The inference is that we will meet criterion for reducing TP concentration of 10 parts-per-billion (ppb) or below.
Duration Of Testing
We do two types of tests: technical and operational. An example of a technical test done by a water scientist was just described. Operational testing is done at a worksite with normal operation and maintenance personnel.
The materials are described in our relevant patents included as support materials "Additional Supporting evidence" below. Materials beyond those listed in the patents are not required.
The operational equipment/apparatus consists of modules designed to be portable to a work site and are mounted on a platform which is leveled at the work site. Suggestive sketches of equipment/apparatus are shown in the respective patent's Figures. These are utility patents and the design features may be different in a work setting without negatively impacting our intellectual property rights.
Test duration depends on the quality of the water. In a worse case setting where the originating water has a high salt content and is free floating in a harbor a cycle of batch processing could produce the first 1000 L in about 20 min. The main effect of salt water is in the more frequent cleaning of the electrodes during routine maintenance. This is where the conditions are at their worst. It should be noted that our equipment is designed to work even in salt water and yet produce fresh drinking water as a result of the processing.
The individual description of the stages of water treatment in an operational setting are as follows. Incoming water is processed through 7591088 wherein we capture at a water gate the P sequestered in the plants. Algae/cyanobacteria are efficient at sequestering nutrients in the water. A strainer captures these and sends them to processing steps drying then pelletizing. The pellets are transported to the agricultural fields and spread with usual farm equipment. That is the single fastest most efficient method of getting P back into the agricultural cycle. The method operates on a continuous real time basis.
The next step is to split the water into portions of ionization. An electrical apparatus first kills all organisms in the water including disease producing organisms and detaches H atoms from cyano toxins to neutralize them. Then the processes of 8354030/ 8524080 draw ions to the bottom of the reactance tank while the deionized water is drawn from the top. This process is done in batches. The process is fast and a small processer can supply a considerable amount of clean drinking water by operating multiple cycles per hour 24/365. Additional apparatus and ones of larger size would produce greater volumes of course. Multiple devices operating in sequence would probably be the preferred schedule using several smaller devices rather than one large capacity device. Multiple devices would allow for maintenance without slowing rate of processing. As high voltage electricity is used to process the water a skilled safety expert is required to supervise during operations. This is the single most important safety consideration. But it is a necessary step as ninety-five percent of the water for drinking is recovered at this stage. Only five percent of water from this process with the concentrated P is sent for separate processing by a different apparatus. The deionizing step is fast (minutes) whereas the next step for getting the P out of the highly concentrated ionized water is slow (days). Ninety-five percent of the water is deionized and sent to carbon filtering and then containers or the tap. This water meets the standard for fresh drinking water.
Highly ionized water with the P is then sent to 8734646/ 9272929 and seeded with plants. Again, the plants are the cheapest and most efficient method of sequestering the P and getting it back to the agricultural cycle. These water plants can be grown in open ponds as described in the patent instruction. Ideally the ponds are shallow at 30 cm and narrow at <2 m but the sections alternate and the strip of sections may be long 50 m. The flow is regulated through the ponds as described in the patent instruction. In a temperate climate the pond walls sit on the ground and are constructed with stacked but not mortared cinderblock and lined with 6 mil plastic. Permitting should be easy. These are fast and easy to construct and take down at the end of a project with no impact on the site environment. Only the plastic is discarded because of UV breakdown while the cinder block is repurposed.
8187861 gets the last of the P after binding with Fe electrode rods. It has long been noted that filters composed of Fe fillings were efficient to get P in an aquarium however the typical filter would then be discarded. We find a simple electrolysis process frees the P from the Fe rods and the high P concentrated water can be removed for liquid application to fields. The rejuvenated Fe rods are returned for another cycle to the apparatus. All water has been sterilized and purified. All TP has been removed and recycled to the agricultural cycle. There has been no harm to the environment.
Availability Of The Materials Used
All materials necessary to build the apparatus/equipment described in our patents are available from building supply sources and can be fabricated by local plumbing and electrical experts. They need only follow the instruction in the published patents which they can download in pdf format from the web. A source might be http://www.freepatentsonline.com.
Inflow Water Physicochemical Characteristics
Our procedures are robust in that originating water can be any source including salt water. However, if salt water is the source then there will be NaCl deposits as crystals in the bottom of 8354030/ 8524080. The NaCl crystallization around the electrodes needs to be removed during routine maintenance. Specific gravity tests can determine level of salt content before initial processing. For many tests we use rain water collected locally as it is the cleanest we can get in large volumes for some fresh water experiments.
Outflow TP Concentration
Outflow TP concentration is zero. All TP has been removed to the accuracy of that reading to the tolerance of the measuring device (e.g. Hanna tester +/- 5 ppb at the floor).
Percentage Reduction In TP Concentration
TP measurements show that all (100 percent) of TP has been removed with accuracy of that reading to the tolerance of the measuring device.
This is the average over many experiments going back eight years with 8187861.
Frequency And Methods Of Analysis/Sampling
Routine testing is done at the end of a 8354030/ 8524080 cycle to be sure no P is present. When any P is detected in outflow of deionized water it is a signal to the operator to stop the process and drain the bottom of the reactance tank and send the high P concentrated water to 8734646/ 9272929 processing.
Periodic sampling is required at the end of 8187861. When the P as tested by instruments (e.g. Hanna Instruments) shows the failing efficiency of the Fe electrodes to bind with the P in the water the operator is signaled to switch incoming water to a different parallel processor tank. The saturated Fe electrodes in the now idle tank are rejuvenated by electrolysis and then returned to its rotation.
Lab Testing Protocols And The QA/QC
The laboratory personnel are trained in and follow standard operating procedures. All tests are performed by trained staff. The instruments are calibrated according to manufacturer guidelines. Measuring devices are calibrated frequently.
Type Of Phosphorus Removed
We only look at Total P for testing and removal.
Volume/Flow Of Water Treated
Parts of the system flow continuously 7591088 and 8187861 while parts 8354030/ 8524080 are batch processed. But as described the intermittent use of several apparatus may approach continuous rates. The volume that could be processed in an operational setting can only be estimated at this time. Spreadsheets are notorious for inaccuracy between projections and true final results. The key operational question is the quality of the incoming water. If it has a high salt content it will challenge most attempts to clean it. If it has less than one percent salt and all equipment is stationed at an existing water treatment facility then it should be able to keep up with operational required rates. Our strategy is the division of the water into TP portions to maximize the efficiency of the processing appropriate to its level of concentration so the efficiency denominator is all water incoming and processed not just the portion finally treated in 8187861. With proper up-scaling the volume and flow rate of water should meet criterion by the end of later Phases of the tests.
Impact On Major Water Chemistry Parameters
Purposely growing algae in the water (8734646/9272929) will remove N as well at P and of course the other essential nutrients for growth. We suspect the results will always be dependent upon the specific setting and water chemistry conditions at the time. It should be noted we do no harm to the environment. In fact we remove toxins and microorganisms that might cause health problems. We assume that the water we process will be piped direct to taps as it is contamination free high quality water for drinking, cooking, washing, and laundry. It is consumed by customers and does not have to be emptied into a water course as is typical of water treatment plant effluent.
Chemicals Used During The Process.
No chemicals such as chlorine or fluoride are introduced to treat the water. However, we do use bacteria in an early step, we have a special recipe for seed algae in a middle step, and we use silver as an antibacterial in a final step when water is in storage containers. These are all described in the patent instructions referenced herein. Also we use a carbon (C) filter for the drinking water. We always use a sand filter as a beginning step seeded with Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter because we assume there is sewage contamination to break down the ammonia ion. We always use a carbon filter as a final step for the drinking water 8354030 to be sure we are getting the radiation. We use an Ag electrode in the storage containers to prevent bacterial contamination see 8734646/9272929.
Fate Of Chemicals And Materials Used
The sand filters are continuously back- washed and the carbon filters rejuvenated. Nothing we do is a harm to the environment. Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter are already common in the environment. There is no threat from the seed algae as there are many thousands varieties in the environment. Typically the macroalgae are the indication of health of the water body. When macroalgae thrive it keeps the water conditions in check so the microalgae do not overpopulate as they are the ones that produce the toxins that contaminate the water. Local conditions will always determine which algae are most successful. There is no threat here of a nonnative species taking over. No chemicals are used in processing.
Toxicity Of Chemicals And Materials Used
There is no toxicity. Our process 8354030/ 8524080 actually detoxifies the algae/cyanotoxins. We can make Toledo water safe to drink. There are toxins and contaminations which until the technological advances in detection were not known. Now with high-pressure liquid chromatography, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and the protein phosphatase assays we can test better for the effectiveness of water treatment procedures. We do nothing that would introduce a new toxin into the environment.
Potentially Recoverable By-Products.
There are three points of focus here for income streams from using our patents.
1). The most important byproduct of recovering P is that the process we use makes the end product drinking water of very high quality. The profit margins on the drinking water are higher than anything else. Everybody needs safe drinking water. There is no substitute. There are different audiences for the products. City dwellers care more about the drinking water. Spreadsheets are notorious for misrepresentation between guesses of the future and then the reality but we suggest that the cost of delivering high quality water to the people is not very expensive. You have to consider the noneconomic issues of disease free water. Water that looks, smells, and tastes great. Even if it started as seawater.
2). The P is needed to grow food and will be increasing in economic value especially if foreign sources become unobtainable. It is a strategic commodity. You have to be able to grow a lot of food. The rural farmers want the P in the fertilizer. It would appear that there is economic opportunity here. Directly taking the plants that grow in the water, retrieving them, crushing them, drying them to 15 percent moisture and then pelletizing them for bagging, transportation, and storage means the P collected can be shipped back to the geographical sections of the country where the food was grown.
3). Also if a new method of sewage disposal such as a methane digester is used there would be an income stream from the electricity produced. 8734646/9272929 describes the opportunity for a modern 21st Century method of dealing with human waste. Contamination related to the aging of the infrastructure is also of increasing concern. Old piping will need to be replaced anyway. Why not replace it with a new system? Part of the problem is removing contaminants and part of the problem is not putting them in there initially. Better sanitation practices are at the heart of solving the contamination problem. We believe a paradigm shift is needed in the disposal of human waste. Left far behind is the assumption that whatever comes out of the tap is healthy to drink and what goes into sanitary disposal is someone else's problem.
Our patents have advanced thinking in the direction of providing better water and an alternative human sanitation model. We advocate a new paradigm for human sanitation.
In the 19th century water was sourced and waste deposited very locally. That is still practiced with about half the world's population.
In the 20th century this changed to central water sourcing and waste disposal with one pipe bringing water into a house and one pipe taking waste away. The current paradigm in developed countries is a two pipe water works. The secret that no one wants to admit is that 80 percent of the P is in the urine. If you separately collect the urine and send it for processing into fertilizer you cut river and lake cleanup to a small fraction of what it was. If everyone just stopped flushing urine down the toilets today you would notice a change in the river and lake water in a week. In a month you would not recognize it with the natural beauty that would return. Modern water testing equipment shows the water delivered to the tap is often of low quality. Water quality tests by experts routinely show the presence of toxins, radiation, organic materials, and many undesirable compounds. Experts realize that a change is needed to protect the health of consumers. The related specific problem is the inadequate methods currently used even in developed countries for human waste disposal. No sewage disposal is 100 percent effective. The mingling of sewer and rain runoff systems is a problem. Another problem is poor water use efficiency. Much of per capita water usage is in flushing toilets. In suburban settings much water is used in watering landscape and lawns. The current mingling of grey water from cooking, washing, and laundry activities with human sewage creates an unnecessary complication in cleanup.
We believe the 21st century paradigm is central water sourcing where the fresh water is of very high quality. Then the grey water from cooking, washing, and laundry activities is processed and repurposed to landscaping irrigation right at the end user location. The toilet waste is divided at the apparatus into the liquid component which is processed to recover nutrients to put back into the agricultural cycle while the solid portion is sent to a methane generator to produce fuel for running sour gas compression ignition engines for electricity generation as described in 8734646/9272929.
Success in any community activity requires knowledge of local issues and awareness of local politics. There are always political and technical solutions to problems. We all realize the political are the more important. The key political problem of this program is in the methane generator. Technically, I think most experts would agree that it is best to incinerate the disease producing organisms found in the solid waste. Hospitals do that. We want to stop the spread of polio, hepatitis, zika and other disease producing organisms. What better way than to incinerate them? While at the same time producing a fuel for energy to produce electricity.
Increasingly people realize that the water coming out of faucets is often fouled because of biological materials, toxins, and even radiation or bacterial contamination. This should not be happening in the 21st century with all the technological advances in water processing and waste disposal. We realize there is inertia in most human activities and water and waste disposal are no exception. The time to shift to a new paradigm is now. The socially responsible thing to do is to get better water for everyone and disease control also helps everyone. It needs to be recognized that variances to some current zoning permit issues may be needed to make that possible.
The bottom line is that a flush- and- forget system of sending the whole problem to your downstream neighbor is not sustainable in a modern socially responsible society. People deserve better water coming to their homes and better processing of waste after it leaves. Ideally none of the waste materials would go beyond where it is produced, but instead be used beneficially right in the local setting. Everyone agrees the existing infrastructure is not adequate to modern needs and is not sustainable. We propose a system of high quality water going to the tap but no return of grey water or sewage back to central processing.
With the new income streams from fertilizer production and electricity generation the actual final net cost of the system of water delivery may be zero. The change will be progressive as the infrastructure is replaced. The bottom line is that what was considered only a cost model in the 20th century is changed in perception to be a 21st century model wherein the new income streams offset the cost. The new system is self- sustaining, cheaper than the current alternatives and is environmentally sound.
The following patents and book by Allen J. Schuh Ph.D are relevant to the presentation:
A download copy in pdf is available online at http://www.freepatentsonline.com and other links.
Suction Dredge System And Method, (With Peter A. Schuh), US Patent No. 7591088 issued 09/22/2009.
System For Extracting Oil From Algae, (With Peter A. Schuh), US Patent No. 8043496 issued 10/25/2011.
Self-Contained Biofuel Production And Water Processing Apparatus, (With Peter A. Schuh), US Patent No. 8017366 issued 09/13/2011.
Production Of Human Food From Jatropha And Other Biologicals, (With Peter A. Schuh), US Patent No. 8137717 issued 03/20/2012.
Phosphate Removal-Recovery And Biofuel Feedstock System, US Patent No. 8187861 issued 05/29/2012.
Purification System For Cyanotoxic-contaminated Water, US Patent No. 8354030 issued 01/05/2013.
Purification Apparatus For Contaminated Water Employing High-voltage DC Pulse And Subsequent Low-voltage DC Field, US Patent No. 8524080 issued 09/03/2013.
Bioremediation Treatment For Human Sanitary Waste, (With Jordan T. Porter and Jake T. Porter) US Patent No. 8734646 issued 05/27/2014.
Bioremediation Separation System And Method For Human Waste, (With Jordan T. Porter and Jake T. Porter), US Patent No. 9272929 issued 03/01/2016.
Investing In Water And Renewable Energy. (2016) Publisher: Smashwords, Inc. ISBN: 9781310622922.