Cambrian’s flagship product, EcoVolt Bioelectric Wastewater Treatment, leverages a particular kind of bioelectricity in a process called “electromethanogenesis”. During this process, electrically active organisms convert carbon dioxide and electricity into methane fuel. Biologically coated electrodes in the reactor rapidly convert organic pollutants into electricity and subsequently convert electricity into methane fuel.
The methane produced by EcoVolt is both high quality (near pipeline quality) and renewable, and can be used in a combined heat and power system to provide sustainable energy to the facility.
The process of electromethanogenesis was discovered in 2008 and subsequently commercialized by Cambrian Innovation Inc. It has a wide range of applications, including wastewater treatment and nutrient management.
Bioelectrochemical systems (BES), also known as microbial electrochemical technologies or microbial fuel cells, are a new technology based on the ability of certain microbes (termed exoelectrogens) to generate electricity via direct contact with electrodes. Traditional fuel cells and electrochemical systems use chemical catalysts that oxidize fuel (such as hydrogen) at anodes, and reduce oxygen at cathodes. A circuit between the anode and the cathode captures electrical energy released in the process.
BES technology can be thought of as fuel cells with a regenerative, living microbial catalyst. These microbes are capable of oxidizing and reducing a broad range of organic fuels including negative cost fuel such as wastewater. The technology works because the exoelectrogenic bacteria can respire through direct contact with the electrodes in our systems. BES have a range of advantages over current technologies depending on the exact domain of application.