Learn more about our impact projects:
Greenhouse Gas Reduction
We have partnered with Native Energy to develop a system that will separate dairy manure solids from raw dairy manure slurry, where the separated solids portion will be pyrolyzed to produce biochar. The goals of the project are to reduce greenhouse gases associated with farm resources (manures) and recover nutrients.
We have a second project through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for pyrolysis of hog manure solids in lagoons. The proposed phase 1 program is to develop and validate the use of our farmscale biogenic refinery pyrolysis-combustion process to convert lagoon hog manure to value-added biochar.
Since November 2016, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with Tide Technocrats Private Limited and Biomass Controls PBC have been working on product development and commercialization planning of the community scale fecal sludge treatment unit.
Biomass Controls manufactures an efficient biorefinery that cleanly processes high moisture biogenic resources while generating capital in the form of tipping fees, service contracts, thermal energy, electrical energy, water and biochar. The Biomass Controls sanitation innovation is the ability to add toilet resources to our bio-refinery and output products such as thermal energy and biochar. It is designed for communities of 10,000-50,000 people. The refinery is integrated into a transportable shipping container. It can reduce solids volume by over 90%. The thermal process output is a pathogen free product. The bio-refinery has a small footprint, can be operational in a few days, can run at temperatures from -40°C to 30°C, and processes 30,000 liters or one tonne of material each day.
In over four years of field implementation and operational experience, the Biogenic Refinery accumulated over 20,000 hours of data. The collected data has resulted in process optimization and patented technologies that enable reliable and efficient treatment performance.
Biomass Controls is working with Dr. Thomas Trabolds ofRochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability. The research is for the valorization of organic waste materials, with a focus on food waste. Recent research has focused on applying thermochemical processes of gasification and pyrolysis, whereby food waste is processed between 500C – 800C under reduced oxygen conditions to yield hydrogen-rich syngas and a solid carbon material called “biochar”, suitable as a sustainable fertilizer or adsorption medium. The recently published book Sustainable Food Waste-to-Energy Systems, co-edited by Trabold and Dr. Callie Babbitt, presents various food waste conversion technologies, as well as environmental, economic and policy analyses of these systems.
WoodCo (Ireland) and Biomass Controls (USA) are working together to prepare a feasibility study (F/S) for decentralized on-site sanitation treatment in South Africa. Through collaboration with the European Space Agency and the Toilet Board Coalition (TBC), our study team will explore sanitation system use cases for the utilization of space technologies as assets for the deployment of decentralized sanitation treatment solutions. The study will explore priority areas in South Africa for improved fecal sludge treatment and how on-site treatment systems could be enabled by satellite technologies.
Decentralized Sanitation | Gender Equity
Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is a neglected sanitation topic in emerging markets, and menstrual waste disposal is particularly absent in many shared and public settings. Waste streams are growing with increased urbanization and access to disposable products. Safe and discrete disposal options, such as the S.H.E. unit being developed by Biomass Controls and Duke University Center for WaSH-AID, are empowering for women and girls and support better health and a cleaner environment.
Our Menstrual Hygiene Safe Disposal project is looking at understanding on-site disposal practices in public spaces in India and South Africa, and working to develop a prototype of a stand-alone decentralized waste treatment solution. This project is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Duke University Center for WaSH-AID. For this project, we are partnering with Cranfield University (United Kingdom), WaterAid (India), SEWA (India), PSG University (India), and EWS (South Africa).
Our Gender Lens in the Reinvent the Toilet Portfolio project is surveying the Gates Foundation Reinvent the Toilet transformative technology grantees on how they have incorporated a gender lens in their research and development and field testing activities. This project is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Duke University Center for WaSH-AID. The project is being conducted in collaboration with Cranfield University (UK).