Constituent Services
Higgins Announces $2 Million for NanoDynamics in Buffalo Secured in Energy and Water Conference Report; Funding to Be Used for Methane-Powered Fuel Cell for Water Treatment Facilities
November 9, 2005
Washington, DC—Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced today that the Energy and Water Appropriations Conference report passed in the House today included $2,000,000 in federal funding which he has requested for NanoDynamics Inc, a leading company in the rapidly growing field of nanotechnology, located along Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.  The funding will be used for the design and construct of a fuel cell system operating through the use of methane gas, a by-product of many water treatment facilities.  The technology can be used to ensure that water treatment facilities can operate without grid power in an emergency situation or due to terrorism.
“Safe and uncontaminated water is crucial in times of emergency,” said Congressman Higgins.  “This funding ensures that water treatment facilities do not depend on traditional electricity sources, which often fail during natural disasters and terror attacks when water is most needed.  Instead, facilities would function through an independent energy source that would continue to work even during major power outages.  The funding will also assist NanoDynamics continue to make Buffalo a leader in nanotechnology and scientific research.  I am pleased that Congressman Reynolds supported this funding, as we both realize the vital responsibility clean water and investment in research have in the daily lives and wellbeing of all Western New Yorkers.”
“I am pleased to support funding for NanoDynamics for their development of cutting-edge nanotechnology that will meet critical water needs by ensuring water treatment plants run on efficient, environmentally friendly, self-sustaining energy," stated Congressman Tom Reynolds (R-Clarence).  "This is an important endeavor both in terms of national security and economic security for all Americans. Once again, I am pleased to see a Western New York company using hard work and ingenuity to come up with a solution to a potentially devastating scenario, and continue the establishment of a 21st century economy here at home.”
The availability of clean water is critical to our nation.  The single most significant expense in operating a water treatment facility is electrical power.  Without power, for any extended period of time, these facilities would be unable to address the industrial and residential needs of our communities.  One by-product of waste water treatment is methane gas.  Many, if not most, water treatment facilities burn this gas and recover little, if any, value from its heat.  Recent advances by NanoDynamics in the use of nanotechnology and nanomaterials have resulted in a solid oxide fuel cell technology which is capable of operating on a wide range of hydrocarbon fuels, including methane.  Fuel cells generate electricity without noise, without external power sources, and are environmentally friendly.  The waste products of a fuel cell are heat, water, and carbon dioxide. 
This project is intended to design and construct a demonstration fuel cell, enabled by nanotechnology, which can be fueled by the “waste” methane gas being generated in a water treatment facility; generating “free” electricity for the facility and providing the potential of fully independent operation in the time of power disruption – due to natural emergencies or terrorism.

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