Kennedy/Jenks to Demo Dewatering Technology in California

Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, which is collaborating with NEI Corporation, received a grant under the California Energy Commission’s Emerging Technology Demonstration Grants (ETDG) program to conduct a field demonstration at Los Angeles County Sanitation District’s Joint Water Pollution Control Plant in Carson, Calif.

The goal of the study is to demonstrate that NEI’s nanoscale additives increase the energy efficiency of municipal sludge dewatering processes. The study, which is the first of its kind to use nanoparticles to improve sludge treatment efficiency, is enabled by the company's ability to produce highly functional nanoparticles at low cost.

NEI will use technical data collected in coming quarters to advance the additive technology and identify corporate and institutional implementation opportunities.

Municipal sludge is dewatered prior to disposal in order to reduce transportation weight and waste volume. NEI’s additive, which can also be used to improve the efficiency of industrial sludge treatment, increases the solid content of mechanically dewatered sludge. Increased solid content corresponds to lower transportation weight, lower waste volume, and a reduced need to conduct additional energy-intensive dewatering steps, such as drying and aeration prior to disposal. In addition, the quantity of other chemical inputs needed in the dewatering process is reduced with increased dewatering efficiency. The additive also has been designed to mitigate the odor that results from sludge processing.

“Efficient manufacturing and a focus on the end-user have enabled NEI to take this particular technology from the development stage to full-scale demonstration in a remarkably short period of time” says Ganesh Skandan, Ph.D., chief executive officer of NEI. “We are excited about this demonstration for three reasons. Foremost is that a successful test followed by implementation will reduce costs and save energy. Secondly, it will dispel concerns that nanotechnology is a prohibitively costly tool for solving industrial problems. Lastly, it establishes NEI’s ability to identify promising technologies in the research stage and form the right industrial partnerships to develop them to full-scale implementation.”

Established in 1997, the company is based in Somerset, N.J.

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