Hydrogen Extraction from Wastewater (20130046, Dr. William Arnold)

Technology No. 20130046
IP Status: Issued US Patent; Application #: 14/198,104

Energy Production from Hydrogen in Wastewater

Hydrogen extraction from wastewater for use as energy is possible with a recent University of Minnesota innovation. The system includes a membrane laden with hydrogen-generating bacteria. The hydrogen is then passed into hollow fibers for removal and can be utilized by fuel cells for energy production. The process does not require costly wastewater aeration at the time of disposal, is modular and can be altered to fit many liquid waste streams including industrial, agricultural, and sanitary waste.

Wastewater Energy

Wastewater is a nutrient-filled and energy-dense substance that is costly to remove from industrial circumstances. There exists a large market for exploiting wastewater for its chemical energy. However, current methods of exploiting wastewater are harmful to the environment and expensive. These methods still require resource-intensive aeration of the exploited water at the time of disposal.


  • Efficient hydrogen production
  • Removes need for expensive wastewater aeration
  • Lower cost water treatment (anticipated)
  • Phase of Development Proof of Concept. Laboratory-tested.

    William Arnold, PhD
    Associate Department Head, Department of Civil Engineering, College of Science and Engineering
    External Link (www.cege.umn.edu)
    Paige Novak, PhD
    Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, College of Science and Engineering
    External Link (www.cege.umn.edu)

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