Source: UNIV OF IDAHO submitted to
TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION AT THE NUTRIENT, ENERGY AND WATER NEXUS AND INNOVATIONS IN TEACHING TOXICOLOGY
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
NEW
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
1010554
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
IDA01562
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Sep 1, 2016
Project End Date
Jun 30, 2021
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Moller, G, .
Recipient Organization
UNIV OF IDAHO
875 PERIMETER DRIVE
MOSCOW,ID 83844-9803
Performing Department
School of Food Science
Non Technical Summary
Water Treatment Technology InnovationIntensification of resource recovery is a global prime mandate for sustainability. The trajectory of increasing population and increasing resource demand for water and food security create an innovation imperative for sustainability in the context of the Food-Energy-Water nexus. Addressing this innovation imperative requires transdisciplinary thinking, creative systems approaches, and translational research products that address the grand challenges of our shared future.We will be developing new appraches to water reuse and recycling that focus on nutrient phosporus and nitrogen recovery from wastewater as well as the destrucive removal of pathogens and contaminants.This work will accelerate the capacity of the US to meet near-term and future water needs by developing an understanding of alternatives to wastewater treatment where nutrients, energy and water resources are recovered and reused. There is a need for scalable technology that advances water reuse and recycling, bioenergy and carbon sequestration, as well as nutrient recovery and aquatic pollution mitigation.The future of food security needs, non-renewable nutrient resources, pollution mitigation and an enhanced regulatory framework increases the need for new approaches to water quality and nutrient management. The basic technology approach applies biochar, ozone and metal salts to wastewater. We call this Biochar Water Treatment technology N-E-W Tech™ and the nutrient upcycled biochar fertilizer product of the process, N-E-W Terra™.Biochar is a charcoal product made from agricultural or forestry biomass bioenergy processes and has been shown to have positive productivity impacts as a soil amendment in most agricultural applications. However, the current value proposition of biochar as a soil amendment to increase yield within most crop systems is not yet considered profitable.One way to increase the value of biochar is to add phosphorus and nitrogen, such as in our "Moo Terra™," an upcycled biochar manufactured from dairy waste streams and the biocarbon residual from bioenergy production. We anticipate that Moo Terra™ advances four value-added benefits: 1) physical improvements to soil (e.g., water holding capacity); 2) addition of plant nutrients; 3) slow release of nutrients; and 4) addition of soil carbon, which improves soil properties such as cation exchange, in addition to its role as a long term carbon sink helping in the global carbon balance.The increased benefits of Moo Terra™ will make it attractive for agricultural industry and the marketplace. These properties suggest biochar can be the basis of an enhanced efficiency fertilizer, a major fertilizer industry target for product innovation.Depending on surface chemistry, biochar can be engineered to adsorb N and P compounds, thus presenting it as a vehicle for recovering nutrients from waste flows in wastewater treatment or engineering a fertilizer de novo using targeted commodity N/P formulations added to the reactive biochar. Our work will attempt to precisely engineer a Moo Terra™ fertilizer product that addresses many agricultural and horticultural applications and a wide variety of nutrient resources.Nutrient upcycled biochar presents advantages in retail and wholesale soil amendment and fertilizer product development due to the direct and indirect agronomic impacts and shared social value accompanying the use of biochar (e.g., nutrient pollution management, soil quality, and climate change mitigation). Biochar soil building products have had a limited impact so far in production agriculture due to high costs in large-scale field application and challenges to extrapolate the positive findings of controlled research studies into value for an already economically stressed agricultural economy. However, the value prospectus of adding nutrients to biochar to yield an enhanced efficiency fertilizer (EEF) may accelerate biochar use, realizing the agricultural production advantages of an EEF that maintains nutrients in the rhizosphere and reduces run-off and groundwater leaching.The tangible attributes of nutrient upcycled biochars, biomass energy and recycled water can address some of the great challenges of humankind while increasing yields, mitigating climate change and addressing oversubscribed water resources. Thus this work can have positive direct and indirect impacts on agricultural success, economic development, carbon management, food security and leadership in sustainability.Teaching InnovationThe anytime, anyplace dynamic of the Web is powerful and can advance accessibility. However, scaling any course beyond a small number of students has risks and benefits. When a class exceeds about 15 students, live or online, communication and interaction becomes more challenging. From the beginning education researchers have advanced user-interface colors that support good communication, camera eye contact and high-touch individual student accessibility and follow-up. A move from synchronous course activity because of the time challenges of most online students, directs the design of reflective discussion prompts that leverage class size for student diversity -- be it experiential, belief and value systems, academic focus, or geographical.Our new courseware development is based on many dynamics including efficient ed-tech tools and our increasing understanding of the cognitive neuroscience of learning and memory, where sounds and imagery help us in high cognitive load environments. With ear-to-ear spatial sound that I engineer for headphones, the 3D surround-sound doculectures let an instructor "walk inside the brain" of students in an information intense presentation, using location ambient sounds, music, and voice. This allows for an intimate learning experience that emotes warmth and caring about the subject matter, and thus an openness in attitude to assimilation and deeper learning. Related research supports this approach, specifically:• Learning is aided by slow, soft, repetitive music• Music soundtracks influence interpretation, emotion, and remembering in film• Cognition and emotion are critically linked; mood induction by music can enhance empathy• Our understanding of emotion in higher cognition is active area of study• Cognitive disfluency (challenges that make you focus) leads to deeper processingFor the courseware development of FS 409/509 Principles of Environmental Toxicology (ETox) and FS 464/564 Food Toxicology (FoodTox), we are developing advanced animation to help illustrate the anatomy and physiology of toxicology. This will be accomplished using advanced biomedical animation constructs that allow for 3D human anatomy visualization down to the organelle level.The FoodTox and ETox courses will be produced in a new PowerPoint-free doculecture format, using advanced animation tools. In what I call "Pixar to Pedagogy", I am using full-size, high-resolution 3D male and female digital medical anatomy characters that can physically interact and even talk with me during a filmed lecture. All of my courses are available on computers, smartphones, video game consoles, streaming media players, and internet protocol TV. The Creative Commons 3.0 licensed course materials are produced with permissioned royalty-free content, and loaded about 2000 times per week in 80+ countries. My courses are a working, successful example of next generation, global and mobile learning possibilities in higher education -- without compromising the social dynamic of small group affinity learning.
Animal Health Component
0%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
20%
Applied
80%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
1020210200025%
1110210202025%
7230210115025%
1330210200025%
Goals / Objectives
The GOAL of this proposed technology innovation for water reuse and nutrient N/P resource recovery research is to advance new technologies and new knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of binding and recovery of phosphorus and nitrogen species on metal salt and functionalized biochar in a novel catalytic oxidation--reactive filtration wastewater treatment process. The GOAL for innovations in teaching toxicology is to advance the quality of online and digitally enhanced teaching through application of advanced media and 3D surround-sound digital production for the classroom.The OBJECTIVES of this work are:Explore high flow approaches to treating nutrient laden wastewaters to recover and recycle phosphorus on biochar substrates for enhanced efficiency fertilizer and carbon sequestration [Water Technology Goal].Explore high flow approaches to treating nutrient laden wastewaters to recover and recycle fixed nitrogen on biochar substrates for enhanced efficiency fertilizer and carbon sequestration [Water Technology Goal].Apply a catalytic oxidation technology that advances destructive removal of pathogens and contaminants in wastewaters [Water Technology Goal].Develop new and economical treatment approaches to reclaiming, recovering and recycling degraded waters for unrestricted reuse [Water Technology Goal].Advance collaborations with researchers and industrial partners that work in related areas [Technology Goal].Apply new media including advanced 3D animation techniques and documentary film style production to courseware development in toxicology [Teaching Innovation Goal].
Project Methods
Objective 1) Recover and recycle phosphorus. Explore through scientific study, the binding of P compounds on biocarbon substrates. Engineer processes and operations to treat nutrient laden wastewaters to recover P in a form suitable for cost effective and efficacious reuse.Efforts- Deliver science-based knowledge through formal or informal publication/presentation and educational programs including formal classroom instruction, student research experiences, extension and outreach.Evaluation- Measurement of percent recovered P from wastewaters. Cost and process efficiency for P removal and recycling for reuse. Patents applied for and patents issued. Licenses of technology by industry. Number of formal and informal publications and presentations.Objective 2) Recover and recycle fixed nitrogen. Deliver science-based knowledge through formal or informal educational programs including formal classroom instruction, student research experiences, extension and outreach. the binding of N compounds on biocarbon substrates. Engineer processes and operations to treat nutrient laden wastewaters to recover fixed N in a form suitable for cost effective and efficacious reuse.Efforts- Deliver science-based knowledge through formal or informal publication/presentation and educational programs including formal classroom instruction, student research experiences, extension and outreach.Evaluation- Measurement of percent recovered N from wastewaters. Cost and process efficiency for N removal and recycling for reuse. Patents applied for and patents issued. Licenses of technology by industry. Number of formal and informal publications and presentations.Objective 3) Apply catalytic oxidation. Explore through scientific study and engineering design, new approaches to oxidatively destroy pathogens and contaminants of concern in wastewaters.Efforts- Deliver science-based knowledge through formal or informal publication/presentation and educational programs including formal classroom instruction, student research experiences, extension and outreach.Evaluation- Measurement of pathogens and contaminants destructively removed from wastewaters. Cost and process efficiency for removal and water recycling for unrestricted reuse. Patents applied for and patents issued. Licenses of technology by industry. Number of formal and informal publications and presentations.Objective 4) Develop new and economical water treatment approaches. Explore through scientific study and engineering design, new approaches to water treatment that enhance economical water reuse and recycling of degraded or marginal waters.Efforts- Deliver science-based knowledge through formal or informal publication/presentation and educational programs including formal classroom instruction, student research experiences, extension and outreach.Evaluation- Measurement of pathogens and contaminants destructively removed from wastewaters. Cost and process efficiency for removal and water recycling for unrestricted reuse. Patents applied for and patents issued. Licenses of technology by industry. Number of formal and informal publications and presentations.Objective 5) Advance collaborations with researchers and industrial partners.Efforts- Deliver science-based knowledge through formal or informal publication and educational programs including outreach to industry and businesses with interests in the related areas. Co-design and co-conduct research with industrial application.Evaluation- Number of cooperating industrial partners. Cost and process efficiency for removal and water recycling for unrestricted reuse. Patents applied for and patents issued. Licenses of technology products by industry. Number of formal and informal publications and presentations.Objective 6) Apply new media to courseware development in toxicology. Generate new animations of anatomy and physiology related to toxicology. Film doculectures on course topics. Produce courseware in environmental toxicology and food toxicology.Efforts- Deliver science-based knowledge through formal or informal publication/presentation and educational programs including formal classroom instruction, student research experiences, extension and outreach.Evaluation- Successful deployment of new courseware. Student achievement of learning objectives and demonstration via assessment of course material. Student course evaluations and reviews.

Progress 10/01/17 to 09/30/18

Outputs
Target Audience:Seven million+ members general public via a mass media NBC Nightly News Segment about our water treatment research on May 6, 2018. Numerous members of the general public via a 17-minute NBC on Earth: Water Prize Podcast Numerous mass media articles and radio articles about our water treatment technology performing well in the George Barley Clean Water Science Prize global competition to address nutrient pollution and harmful algae blooms. Invited presentations to public water summits, growers conferences, industry sustainbility summits. Changes/Problems:With long term field testing of our focus water treatment technology, we observed opportunities for system improvement and efficiency gains. We also developed a thought experiment on a novel separtions approached that we are reducing to practice. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?Presented several summits and conferences that allowed for interaction and information exchange with stakeholders, industry and professionals in related fields. Four engineering students conducted their senior design capstone project on a biochar injector subassembly design critical for our water treatment technology. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?NBC Nightly News broadcast segment NBC on Earth Podcast ABC Toledo OH broadcast segment Presentations to public and industry groups What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?Continue working on technology development including a sensor array and control system to allow for autonomous control. We also prototyping a novel high efficiency separations approach for water treatment.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? We have accomplished a pilot scale prototype of a water treatment technology applicable to agriculatural drainge canals and demonstrated its effectiveness in significant water qualty improvement. This technology will have application in addressing nutrient runoff and harmful algal blooms. 1 peer reviewed journal paper published describing how our novel reactive filtration water treatment technology can reach the ultralow Great Lakes Mercury Discharge Initiative goal of 1.7 parts per trillion. This is the only technology that can accomplish this for particulate and dissolved mercury in water. "Biochar Water Treatment" US and Intl patent applications moving forward with allowed claims. Considerable technical/legal reviews and examiner responses in 2018 to make this happen. George Barley Clean Water Science Prize: Designed, built and operated a continuous flow 3-month pilot trial of the "Clean Water Machine" water treatment technology at the Holland-Marsh ag canal in Ontario Canada demonstraing state of the art removals of phosphorus from drainage water Advanced to the final four to the $10M Grand Challenge Stage, from an initial field of 107 competitors from across the globe. Team and technology featured on NBC Nightly News. Two new grants funded: UI investigators: Moller, Strawn, Shrestha Proposal/Project Title: UI Clean Water Machine: Carbon-Negative Technology for Water Reuse, Nutrient Recovery, and Soil Health Prime Awarding Agency: Murdock Foundation Total Funding Award: $75,000 (including $15,000 industry match) August 2018 - September 2019 UI investigators: Moller, Strawn Proposal/Project Title: Engineered Biochars to Enhance the Profitability of Distributed Energy Systems and Reduce the Environmental Impact of Anaerobic Digesters. Prime Awarding Agency: USDA Sungrant Program Total UI Funding Award: $149,000 ($50,000 to WSU, Garcia-Perez) July 2018 - June 2019

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Awaiting Publication Year Published: 2019 Citation: Beutel, M.W.. Dent, S.R., Newcombe R.L., G. M�ller, G. 2019. Mercury removal from municipal secondary effluent with hydrous ferric oxide reactive filtration. Water Environment Research (in Press)


Progress 10/01/16 to 09/30/17

Outputs
Target Audience:The water treatment technology developed in this research has been rebranded as the University of Idaho Clean Water Machine (UI-CWM) for better internal an external communication. We have targeted the general public concerned with water quality, food processors involved with water discharge and water reuse, the water treatment engineering community, and peer research scientists and engineers. During the reporting period, we have reached the general public through several regional print and TV news outlets that took an interest in our work. We have reached the regional food processing industry through invited presentation to water and sustainability workshops organized by the 400 companies represented by the Northwest Food Processors Association. We have worked cooperatively with engineers and scientists the US-DOE co-funded Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) exploring the water-energy nexus of our research, as well as cooperating scientists in several universities including Washington State University, as well as industry engineers and scientists in the US and the UK through formal and informal presentations. ? Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?With a cooperating scientist, we have employed an undergraduate researcher. A MS student drafted a full review paper on biochar and phosphorus in soil systems. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?Our George Barley Water Prize sucess so far has had global distribution. Our technology transfer and continuning intellectual property development has allowed commercialization activities to move forward. Our regional and national/international conference presentation have disseminated aspects of our work to the broader reseach community. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?We plan to continue participation in Stage 3 of the GBWP in Ontario Canada exploring ways to help mange nutrient driven harmful algae blooms in the Great Lakes. In the Fall of 2018, the top 4 enties in Stage 3 will be invited to Stage 4, a 2 to 4 million gallon per day process demonstration in the Everglades region of Florida. We plan to continue testing and development of our new approaches for high flow water treatment and accelerating them towards commercialization. We plan to ramp up publication of our work thus far.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? We continued optimizing the University of Idaho-Clean Water Machine using calcium and iron modified biochars to remove and recover P from test waters and wastewaters at pilot scale. We developed, tested and submitted two novel approaches for water filtration that were disclosed to the UI Office of Technology Transfer for patent consideration. We completed a series of cooperative initial greenhouse trials that used the modified biochars as soil amendments. We worked in cooperation with our technology transfer partner in the UK that resulted in a 1-year 0.5 million gallon per day pilot project with our catalytic oxidation technology at a wastewater site in Horwich UK. The work, funded at $4.5M by a consortium that included the largest water utility in Great Britain. The results demonstrated 90% P removal and simultaneous complete/near complete destructive removal of trace contaminants of concern including hormones, antibiotics, and other priority substances. The formal reports of the project will be produced by the organizing groups of this UK-wide competitive trials of about 10 different technologies addressing priority substance removals from wastewaters. The University of Idaho-Clean Water Machine was one of 10 phosphorus removal technologies advance into the top 10 of over 100 global submissions for February - May 2018 Stage 3 Pilot testing in Ontario Canada for the $10M Everglades Foundation George Barley Clean Water Science Prize (GBWP).

Publications

  • Type: Theses/Dissertations Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Dunkle, Chad (2016) MS Thesis "GHG Emissions and Energy Usage Assessment of Phosphorus Recovery from Municipal Wastewater Systems Utilizing Biochar Catalytic Oxidation - Reactive Filtration".


Progress 09/01/16 to 09/30/16

Outputs
Target Audience:We reached engineers, community water and wastewater managers, on-farm water and wastewater managers, industrial water and wastewater managers through numerous technical and public presentations, and mass media opportunities (e.g. TV news). We worked with a major fertilizer company in partnership with some aspects of our research.We worked under a non-disclosure agreement with a major soil amendment manufacturer in exploring the chemical and physical properties of biochar in greenhouse trials. Community members and tribal nations were addressed in several presentations. Undergraduate and graduate students formally enrolled in classes as well as learners accessing open source educational resources were the primary targets in formal classroom teaching and new courseware development. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?We trained a staff engineer and 6 undergraduate researchers participating in the build-out of the technology. Three water treatment conference speaking opportunities were used to present research results and explore related advances in the field. Courseware enhancements were used in some course delivery. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?We have presented results of experiment and project progress at 3 scientific conferences. We have also participated in 3 public displays with interactive presentations of our 40-foot-long water treatment process trailer. Our project has been the topic of several mass media stories and a regional evening news program. The N-E-W Tech technology was entered in the Everglades Foundation $10M George Barley Clean Water Science Prize and won the opening round of that 4-year international competition. That accomplishment was reported on in multiple media platforms. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Nothing Reported

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? We operated our patent pending NEWTECH water treatment process at the University of Idaho research dairy, the City of Moscow, ID municipal wastewater facility and the City of Troy, ID wastewater facility to explore water recovery, phosphorus recovery and destruction of water pathogens and pollutants. We performed greenhouse trials with the P/N upcycled biochar fertilizer. We refined process operations to optimize outcome, energy efficiency and water product quality. We partnered with a major fertilizer company and a major biochar company, in addition to our municipal facility operators to advance this research. We surveyed energy efficiency and greenhouse gas generation of this new water treatment process and determined it was carbon negative. Courseware development has continued with additional anatomy and physiology of toxicology animations developed and courseware lecture outline scripts and storyboards developed.

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Schade-Poole, K.; M�ller, G. 2016. Impact and Mitigation of Nutrient Pollution and Overland Water Flow Change on the Florida Everglades, USA. Sustainability, 8, 940. doi:10.3390/su8090940
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2016 Citation: Durkee, J., Bartrem, C. and M�ller, G. 2016. Legacy Lead Arsenate Soil Contamination at Childcare Centers in the Yakima Valley, Central Washington, USA.Chemosphere. 2017 Feb;168:1126-1135. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.10.094. Epub 2016 Nov 4.