Wastewater is the ultimate renewable energy source. The energy embedded in organics and nitrogen exceeds the energy required for treatment - this means clean water can be produced with an energy surplus. He aims to help wastewater treatment facilities become net exporters of renewable energy that is produced in constant supply, derived from a free feedstock (wastewater), and produced close to end users.
Today, energy is recovered from the organics in wastewater, but not the nitrogen. As a Ph.D. student at Stanford, he developed a new wastewater treatment process that removes and recovers renewable energy from waste nitrogen. The technology, called "CANDO", converts ammonia to nitrous oxide gas, and then uses the nitrous oxide as an oxidant in biogas combustion to increase energy output. He is now piloting CANDO in partnership with the Delta Diablo Sanitation District.
Yaniv's work has been featured in Forbes, U.S. DOE Clean Energy Business Plan Competition, OZY, The Guardian, Bloomberg, Imagine H2O, American Society of Civil Engineers, Water World Magazine, and Energy & Environmental Science.
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