Novel Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment System for Energy Generation at Forward Operating Bases
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center Champaign United States
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Forward Operating Bases FOBs currently lack sustainable wastewater treatment options, creating operational inefficiency, personnel vulnerability, and environmental degradation. The objective of this research was to develop a sustainable wastewater treatment system for FOBs that converts wastewater contaminants, including organics and ammonia, into harvestable products for energy production. The system aims to combine sustainable materials with recent technological advances to treat wastewater with minimal material input and reduced disposal issues, while producing a net return on energy.The wastewater treatment system designed under this project will benefit the Department of Defense by reducing the costs, logistical burden, and risks associated with wastewater management at FOBs. Further development of the technology into a full-scale unit is expected to yield an efficient system for onsite treatment that is simple to operate and produces fuels for electrical and thermal energy generation. This positive-net-energy approach will support self-sufficient-FOB design goals. The integrated system would also reduce the logistical burden and risks associated with transporting waste and importing fuel, chemicals, and water. The proposed system will reduce the FOB environmental footprint and impact on indigenous populations, demonstrating innovative and effective environmental stewardship.