Announcing Winners of 2012 Missouri Clean Energy Challenge
|Please click here for more photos.|
|Picutred (left to right): Allison Carmen, Steve Kidwell, Rick Smith, Josh Campbell, Glenda Abney||Pictured (left to right, front to back): Prof. Pratim Biswas, Daniel Garcia, Michael Gidding, Dr. Wei-Ning Wang, Jim Curran, Joan Bray, Josh Campbell, Ken Harrington|
Early Stage Division
Material Mix is a disruptive web-based exchange platform that commoditizes the trade of industrial byproducts within the current waste collection industry; helping waste and recycling professionals reduce operating expenses, recover investment on inventory, and monetize the trade of their recyclables
The current model for waste management is broken – there is no financial incentive for businesses to recycle. Each year, US manufacturers pay to dispose of 176 million tons of waste, 34% of which is reusable.
Instead of selling these valuable reusable commodities, businesses are forced to pay to dispose and recycle them. In many cases, the materials are worth twice over what businesses spend on disposal costs. The online trade of these recoverable materials represents an unrealized $13.2 billion market opportunity.
Material Mix monetizes the trade of recyclables. Material Mix is an online open exchange platform with supply chain management tools for waste and recycling professionals.
Material Mix’s business model features a disruptive technology that commoditizes the trade of industrial byproducts within the current waste collection industry via a web-based, customer-regulated platform where businesses may create a personalized waste management dashboard, receive updates on available material, post their own reusable byproduct for auction, show proof of regulatory compliance, and search for transportation solutions.
Sellers post auctions for their manufacturing byproducts, save on disposal costs, and earn income on the sale of these goods. Buyers gain access to previously unavailable raw material input, and benefit from competitive pricing on their source material.
The Material Mix online platform financially incentivizes business in four innovative ways:
i. Reduced operating expenses by diverting reusable materials: The average manufacturer will save an estimated $68,600 on hauling and disposal expenses.
ii. Discovery of new sources of revenue: The average manufacturer can recover an estimated $256,956 of materials per year from marketing and selling recovered byproduct.
iii. Elective sponsorship of trade associations or non-profit organizations: Users may donate a portion of revenue generated from the sale of inventory.
iv. Built-in regulatory compliance and auto-submission of key local, state, and federal forms.
We clean the air you breathe
Aerosol Control Technologies (ACT) will improve diesel engine efficiency and clean the air we breathe by developing an advanced diesel particulate matter (DPM) capture system. Professor Pratim Biswas has discovered a way to capture sub-micron and nano-sized particles with 99.99% efficiency using electrostatic precipitators (ESPs). Traditional ESPs efficiently and cost effectively remove particles larger than 1 micrometer from air, but have collection efficiency minima for ultrafine (<1 micrometer) particles, making them poor candidates for many applications. Prof. Pratim Biswas at Washington University in St. Louis was the first to demonstrate that submicron and nano-sized could be charged by irradiating an aerosol (particles suspended in air) with light, thereby enabling the efficient capture of these particles. Multiple published studies have shown that this innovation in particle charging can enhance ESPs, enabling the removal of these smaller particles from air with a collection efficiency comparable to HEPA filters.
Current technologies that can effectively capture DPM use expensive filters that need to be maintained and replaced regularly, and experience large pressure drops in operation that can cause up to a 10% increase in fuel consumption. The chemistry of traditional diesel oxidation catalysts can force a trade off between DPM and NOx emissions levels. ACT is working with Peabody Energy, the largest private sector coal mining company, and a consumer of 160+ million gallons of diesel per year, to design a product that meets their buying decision criteria and conduct prototype field-testing.
ACT's enhanced ESP is protected by US patent Number 6,861,036: "Charging and capture of particles in coronas irradiated by in-situ X-rays" issued in March, 2005, which covers systems and methods. An initial patent search conducted by the entrepreneurial team found no dominating claims in the space. Additionally, our team will protect proprietary design features through trade secret agreements.
Aerosol Control Technologies (ACT) is commercializing an innovation that will enable the efficient, low cost capture of submicron particles from air. ACT is pursuing a license on a patented Soft X-ray Corona (SXC) system that employs low energy soft x-rays to enhance particle charging, thereby enabling their capture using common electrostatic precipitators (ESPs). Current ESPs on the market have capture efficiency minima for submicron sized particles. ACT has already obtained $63,100 in funding is looking to raise $200,000 more to fund commercial development of the SXC technology.
Aerosol Control Technologies (ACT) is commercializing an innovation that will enable the efficient, low cost capture of submicron particles from air. ACT is pursuing a license on a patented Soft X-ray Corona (SXC) system that employs low energy soft x-rays to enhance particle capture using common electrostatic precipitators (ESPs). Current ESPs on the market have capture efficiency minima for submicron sized particles. ACT has already obtained $63,100 in funding is looking to raise $200,000 more to fund development of the SXC technology focusing on the production of prototypes. These prototypes will be retrofit-ready and testable by customers, as well as validated by independent labs. After initial sales, ACT will then look to expand into other markets, such as pharmaceutical and electronics manufacturing and industrial emissions control. In the longer term, ACT will look to either become strategically acquired by a large engineering firm or list publically on an exchange.
Water & Environmental Technologists is a student organization that aims to conserve and enhance the water and other natural resources by providing solutions to environmental concerns that exist in the Nation.
Large-scale production of biodiesels from algae with existing algae ponds or algae photobioreactors is still challenging, as it requires the use of significant amount of water, nutrients, and energy to support algal growth. The difficulty in algae harvesting adds additional burden to algae industry. To address these concerns, we have developed an algae-based membrane bioreactor (A-MBR) system. The advantages of using algae-based MBR for tertiary wastewater treatment include its effective removal of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, higher biomass concentrations (10 times higher than in a traditional cultivation system) and excellent biomass settling property due to the algae induced adsorption/co-precipitation of phosphate on the cell surface. The A-MBR system with high biomass concentrations and better settling property can reduce the overall algae and biofuel production cost. More importantly, the harvested algae contain more than 10% of phosphorus which can be easily converted to fertilizers and biofuels (such as methane and biodiesels). The A-MBR system is also capable of removing significant amount of CO2 (a greenhouse gas) such as that released from power plants. Compared to the open pond or photobioreactors, the A-MBR system can increase biomass concentration by a factor of 5-10 (e.g., 5-10 g/L), while substantially removing phosphorus in wastewater (> 65%). The average algae production rate can be reached as high as 260 g dry weight/ m3•day.
The A-MBR system can be built in a shallow pond with 1 m depth, which allows sufficient light penetration to support algal growth. The system can be easily scaled up in a facility with the wastewater treatment capacity of >1 million gallon per day. There is minimal membrane fouling problem in our unique A-MBR system because of low production of loosely bound extracellular polymeric substances from algae.