Waste2Watergy, a Corvallis startup formed at Oregon State University, has secured a $225,000 federal grant to advance technology that cleans organics from brewery wastewater while producing electricity.
The company, which previously received $150,000 from Oregon BEST to OSU researchers, received a Small Business Technology Grant from the National Science Foundation, announced Wednesday. The one-year grant will allow the company to demonstrate if its fuel cell technology is scalable.
Its system cleans organics from wastewater and is viewed as a potentially revolutionary approach to cleaning wastewater from breweries as well as the food and beverage industry. Waste2Watergy has spent the past 18 months piloting a prototype of its microbial fuel cell technology at Widmer Brothers Brewing.
"It's been impressive to see our wastewater being cleaned and electricity generated, and it's exciting to see the technology grow from the first prototype to the larger scale version," said Julia Person, sustainability manager for Widmer.
Hong Liu, a professor in the OSU Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering and co-inventor of the core technology, called the technology a potential win-win for solving both waste and energy challenges.
"The social and long term impact is providing energy from a renewable source while benefiting human health," Liu said.
STTR grants help fund small businesses that are working with researchers to develop promising technology that is not yet commercially viable. Oregon BEST, the agency that promotes the state's cleantech industry, helped with the application.