- Provisional patent (April 7th 2014) submitted with Klarquist Sparkman, LLP
- Aims to deliver a cheap and high-performance retrofit option for Wastewater Treatment Plants enabling compliance with upcoming stringent EPA phosphorus standards
- Licensing price on the order of $3/person per year ($37,500/MGD per year) for Public Utilities
- PIARCS’ target wastewater market, assuming a licensing fee of $3/person per year, would generate on the order of $3.4bn per year from Public Utilities in the US and Europe alone.
- The technology results from the founder’s unpublished research on phosphorus metabolism in bacteria during her self-funded post-doctoral experiences. In synthetic medium, PIARCS’ proprietary cells are capable of removing phosphate rapidly and completely to levels below 30 μg P/L:
- Under high phosphate levels, PIARCS’ proprietary cells accumulate phosphorus to concentrations on par with rock phosphate reserves (11-16% P in rock):
Easy phosphorus recovery: phosphorus is stored as polyphosphate, which can be easily converted back to phosphate using exopolyphosphatase enzymes, thereby providing a source of renewable phosphorus fertilizer.
- As a means to mitigate eutrophication of natural ecosystems, Pubic Utilities widely implement Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) to remove significant fractions of nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater. However, these technologies afford insufficient phosphorus removal to meet the upcoming EPA phosphorus standards in many US states. PIARCS’ technology would provide an inexpensive retrofit of BNR systems enabling final phosphorus levels at least 5 times lower than the state of Colorado Reg. 31 levels. Akin to BNR bacterial consortia, PIARCS’ proprietary bacteria are non-pathogenic and therefore do not require a specific EPA permit for their broad utilization in Wastewater Treatment facilities.
Deliverables – 12 months
- Test these capabilities in fresh wastewater samples at multiple facilities
- File PCT
- Setup bioreactor to produce proprietary cells continuously
- Implement use wastewater streams to reduce feed costs