MassVentures today announced the 2017 START (SBIR Targeted Technologies) program winners. Each START winner will receive a grant to help grow employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth. The winning companies span the state and the technology sector, from robotics to clean energy to defense. Full list, including locations and descriptions of the winning companies, is below.
Distributed solutions for process water treatment, renewable energy generation and water reuse increase critical supply chain security for industrial businesses that often face high energy and process water discharge costs, as well as capped supply for production. However, onsite solutions often are perceived as cost-prohibitive, particularly for growing businesses in rapidly changing industries such as the craft beer industry.
Cambrian Innovation developed the Water-Energy Purchase Agreement (WEPA) to make accessible onsite, distributed solutions for process water treatment and water reuse.
With funding from the National Science Foundation, Boston-based Cambrian Innovation has developed the EcoVolt Reactor, a modular anaerobic wastewater treatment system. The reactor uses an electromethanogenic process in which microbes convert organic matter into biogas with a high methane fraction. The methane can be used to generate clean electricity and heat.
Inside Cambrian’s water-as-a-service financing model (17:00)
GreenBiz senior writer Heather Clancy spoke to Matt Silver, founder and CEO of Cambrian, about the company’s innovative financing model called a water-energy purchase agreement (WEPA). Cambrian will install and operate wastewater treatment systems on a customer’s behalf over the lifetime of the contract.
Producing a single gallon of wine, from grapes to bottling (not including vineyard demands), typically requires six gallons of water, depending upon winery-specific procedures. And since they’re located in the most populated and highest water-consuming state in the nation, Californian winemakers have felt mounting environmental and economic pressures to reduce consumption and reuse wastewater.
California wineries relying on new forms of wastewater technology are hoping treatment innovations will slow the shipment of water away from their businesses and their regions.
EcoVolt, a bioelectric wastewater system from Cambrian Innovation, is one technologies soaking up media attention lately. Already used “by big-name Sonoma County breweries,” the technology is now “spilling over into the Napa wine industry,” the Napa Valley Register reported.
A wastewater treatment solution used by big-name Sonoma County breweries is spilling over into the Napa wine industry, with the prospect of reducing the shipment of wastewater out of county for treatment.
Rombauer Vineyards in St. Helena will be the first Napa winery to adopt the EcoVolt, a bioelectric wastewater system from Cambrian Innovation. The Boston-based company announced the partnership Tuesday. Already sporting a roster of brewery clients including Lagunitas, Bear Republic and Russian River, the company’s pairing with Rombauer may be the first of many with Napa wine producers.
Winery Uses Cambrian’s Technology to Treat Wastewater Onsite, Generate Clean Energy and Increase Operational Savings
Napa Valley-based Rombauer Vineyards will be the first winery to install Cambrian Innovation’s EcoVolt, which will allow Rombauer to treat its wastewater onsite while generating renewable energy and enabling future reuse of the winery’s treated process water.
Water is a top concern for many California wineries and breweries, which face both limited water supply for productionand restrictions for wastewater discharge.
Rombauer says Cambrian’s EcoVolt will help it meet these challenges and further reduce its water-to-wine ratio. Using the system, the winery can treat its entire wastewater stream onsite while generating up to 30 kW of renewable electricity and heat.
About 50 miles north of San Francisco, a brewery is quietly using a new type of technology, originally created to be used on a space station, to clean 50,000 gallons of dirty wastewater a day and generate energy in the process.
At the back of the brewery of Lagunitas Brewing Company, in Petaluma, Calif., three large shipping containers house an unusual design of electrically-charged microbes that consume pollutants in beer wastewater and generate usable biogas. The technology was created by an MIT-spinout called Cambrian Innovation, which is beginning to grow its customer list considerably in Northern California.