Photobioreactor for Hydrogen Production from Cattle Manure

EPA Grant Number: SU832485
Title: Photobioreactor for Hydrogen Production from Cattle Manure
Investigators: Khandan, Nirmala , Deng, S. , Smith, Geoffrey
Current Investigators: Khandan, Nirmala , Deng, S. , Gnaneswar, Gude Veera , Maganti, Anand , Ramana, Gadhamshetty Venkata , Smith, Geoffrey , Vishwanathan, Venkat
Institution: New Mexico State University - Main Campus
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: September 30, 2004 through May 30, 2005
Project Amount: $9,996
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2005) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Energy , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


Hydrogen has been identified as an energy-efficient and pollution-free energy carrier that has the potential to replace the existing nonrenewable fossil fuels. The student team at the New Mexico State University will design a prototype of an anaerobic reactor for biohydrogen production from cattle manure. The proposed project meets P3 requirements in developing sustainable and environment-friendly approach for energy generation as well as solid waste management. It can have far-reaching benefits as it helps conserve fossil fuel reserves, avoid degradation of surface water, groundwater and air quality, extend the life of landfills, and minimize ecological impact.

Hydrogen production rate will be used to evaluate the feasibility of the proposed reactor. Volatile fatty acids, alkalinity, and COD recovery will be used to monitor and control the system. Evaluation methods include: a) analysis of environmental costs to demonstrate the feasibility of the process; b) evaluation of sustainable hydrogen production from cattle manure; and c) development, calibration and validation of a mechanistic process model for scale-up purposes.

Prototypes and design ideas generated from this P3 project will be used as hands-on projects in graduate level courses. Research data will be incorporated into an M.S. thesis and a Ph.D. dissertation. Multi-media-based simulation model will be developed to portray the basics of H2 economy, and illustrate how waste materials from neighboring dairies (now seen as a nuisance by the public) can be converted to valuable energy.

Supplemental Keywords:

modeling, agriculture, engineering, biology, cost benefit, sustainable development, clean technologies, innovative technology, renewable, waste reduction, particulates, organics, global climate,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, waste to fuel conversion, energy conservation, advanced oxidation process, hydrogen fuels, animal waste, agricultural byproducts, energy efficiency, energy technology, alternative energy source, renewable energy

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report