Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Environmental Analysis
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

New Stanford Facility will Test Water-Recovery Technology

Published: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Bookmark and Share
The new Codiga Resource Recovery Center at Stanford will accelerate commercial development of promising technologies for recovery of clear water and energy from wastewater.

New Stanford University facility will test promising technologies for recovery of clean water and energy from wastewater.

The new facility, to be located on Bonair Siding Road, near the offices of Land, Buildings & Real Estate (LBRE), is a collaborative effort among university water-resource specialists and faculty researchers from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Stanford-led Engineering Research Center for Re-inventing the Nation's Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt).

The facility is funded by the university and by a gift from Stanford alumnus William Codiga and his wife, Cloy. Called the William and Cloy Codiga Resource Recovery Center at Stanford, the facility's mission is to accelerate commercial development of new wastewater technologies by testing at a scale large enough to demonstrate a process's effectiveness and stimulate investment for full-scale implementation. The center will also test technology that is mobile and can be deployed at remote locations.

Such new technology is eagerly awaited by water purveyors and wastewater utilities nationwide that struggle with the dual challenge of replacing aging wastewater infrastructure while coping with water shortages.

While the facility will not address immediate drought concerns, it will create new options for long-term water management.

For example, Codiga Center technologies may make it possible for wastewater, which is now transported to centralized sewage treatment plants, to be purified locally and recycled for irrigation, restoration of ecosystems and other purposes.

Potential power source

Researchers will also use the facility to test whether by-products of water purification, such as methane, can be used to power treatment plants of the future. For instance, Stanford postdoctoral researcher Yaniv Scherson is already piloting a process at the Delta Diablo Sanitation District's Antioch, Calif., facility that "turbocharges" methane combustion by adding nitrous oxide created from the ammonia in wastewater.

"The collaboration that led to this facility will showcase how the campus can meet its future water supply needs through innovative approaches that produce non-potable water locally where it's needed and in ways that save energy and money," said Richard Luthy, a professor of civil engineering and director of ReNUWIt, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. "Together with Stanford Utilities, we can demonstrate new approaches for reclaiming water while inspiring others to innovate and adopt solutions tested at Stanford."

Those applications are likely years away from implementation on the Stanford campus, according to Tom Zigterman, associate director for Water Services and Civil Infrastructure. But he hopes that the technologies will eventually lead to recycled water of an acceptable quality that could be considered as an alternative non-potable water supply and have a role in Stanford's long-term sustainable water management plans.

Stanford currently relies on the Hetch Hetchy water system for its potable water, while also using groundwater and surface water diversion for much of its non-potable water needs. In the long run, however, as Stanford's water needs grow with its population and campus development, those sources alone may not meet all demands.

Before Stanford can reuse wastewater, a method must be perfected to eliminate contaminants that result, for instance, from pharmaceuticals and personal hygiene products. Such contaminants, if used today, might affect the groundwater that the university relies on as a potable backup water supply to its Hetch Hetchy water.

Research needed

"We hope to reach a point where the treated domestic wastewater from these processes will have low enough levels of residues that it can be considered for use as a source of non-potable water for the university," Zigterman said.

That's where the research of faculty members such as Craig Criddle and Perry McCarty comes into play. Criddle, who will direct the Codiga Center, is a professor of civil and environmental engineering and senior fellow at the Woods Institute. He has worked with colleagues to develop several bench-scale technologies for recovery of energy from wastewater.

McCarty, a professor emeritus of civil engineering, is a past winner of the Stockholm Water Prize and is internationally recognized for development of economical anaerobic treatment systems that rely on the activity of naturally occurring, beneficial microbes.

Recently, McCarty and colleagues at Inha University in South Korea developed a new anaerobic technology that efficiently recovers clean water and energy from wastewater. This technology will be tested for the first time in the United States at the Codiga Center.

"The technologies to be tested at the Codiga Center have the potential to revolutionize wastewater treatment, producing freshwater from wastewater and converting treatment systems that currently consume energy into systems that produce energy," Criddle said, adding, "Many of these treatment systems do not exist at full scale anywhere in the world."

Zigterman said LBRE hopes to start construction of the Codiga Center this spring and have research under way in the coming academic year.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,600+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Stanford Engineers Discover How to Record the Forensic History of Chemical Contaminations in Water
An invention called a time capsule is a tiny chemistry lab designed to take a fingerprint of contamination and also disclose when it occurred.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Fracking
New analysis finds hydraulic fracturing poses dangers for people living near the wells, now a Stanford-led study believes we can do better.
Monday, September 15, 2014
Stanford Research Shows Value of Clams, Mussels in Cleaning Dirty Water
New Stanford research shows that bivalves can cleanse streams, rivers and lakes of potentially harmful chemicals that treatment plants can't fully remove.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Tracking a Silent Killer in Rural Bangladesh
An interdisciplinary team of Stanford researchers seek to understand why lead contamination persists in one of the poorest corners of the world, and how to stop its spread.
Monday, January 06, 2014
Stanford Research Shows China's Clean-Water Program Benefits People and the Environment
For the past four years China has been paying farmers to grow corn instead of rice, an effort that is paying off for people and the environment.
Monday, September 09, 2013
Climate Change on Pace to Occur 10 Times Faster than any Change Recorded in Past 65 Million Years
Without intervention, this extreme pace could lead to a 5-6 degree Celsius spike in annual temperatures by the end of the century.
Monday, August 05, 2013
Stanford Scientists Break Record for Thinnest Light-Absorber
Stanford scientists have built the thinnest, most efficient absorber of visible light on record, a nanosize structure that could lead to less-costly, more efficient, solar cells.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Stanford's GCEP will Award $6.6 Million for Novel Energy Research
The Global Climate and Energy Project will award $6.6 million for research that leads to cleaner fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Stanford Scientists Help Shed Light on Key Component of China's Pollution Problem
Study reveals scale of nitrogen's effect on people and ecosystems.
Friday, March 01, 2013
Scientific News
Messing With The Monsoon
Manmade aerosols can alter rainfall in the world’s most populous region.
Plastic for Dinner
Roughly a quarter of the fish sampled from fish markets in California and Indonesia contained man-made debris according to a study from the University of California, Davis, and Hasanuddin University in Indonesia.
Seeking “Gold Standard” Wastewater Treatments
Metagenomic analyses lend insights into how microbes break down wastewater contaminants.
Preventing Drinking Water Contamination by Pharmaceuticals
In recent years, researchers have realized that many products, including pharmaceuticals, have ended up where they’re not supposed to be — in our drinking water.
Low-level Arsenic Exposure Before Birth Associated with Early Puberty in Female Mice
Study examine whether low-dose arsenic exposure could have similar health outcomes in humans.
Intensity of Desert Storms May Affect Ocean Phytoplankton
MIT study finds phytoplankton are extremely sensitive to changing levels of desert dust.
Determination of Phosphate in Soil Extracts in the Field: A Green Chemistry Enzymatic Method
New method for phosphate determination which can be carried out in the field to obtain results on the spot.
Open-Source Photometric System for Enzymatic Nitrate Quantification
New method proposed for developing a cheaper, more accessible open-source water testing platform capable of performing Nitrate Reductase Nitrate-Nitrogen Analysis.
Toxic Algae is a Threat to Our Water
A report concludes that blooms of toxic cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are a poorly monitored and underappreciated risk to recreational and drinking water quality in the U.S., and may increasingly pose a global health threat.
Significant Part of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Comes From River and Sea Organisms
Running streams are key sources of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, but why is it so?
Scroll Up
Scroll Down

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,600+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos