Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced that he secured $2,000,000 in federal funding 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. The funding was included in the Energy & Water Appropriations bill in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Biomass and Biorefinery Systems R&D program passed by the House of Representatives last night.
“In times of natural emergencies or terror attacks in our region, it is essential that our water remains clean and safe,” said Congressman Higgins. “This funding will ensure that water treatment facilities do not depend on traditional electricity sources, which often fail during an emergency, but rather work through an independent energy source and continue to work even when we face major power outages and catastrophes. The funding will also help NanoDynamics continue their good work in making Buffalo a leader in nanotechnology and scientific research. I am pleased that Congressman Reynolds supported this request—we both know the critical role clean water and investment in research plays in the life and wellbeing of all Western New Yorkers.”
“This funding will go a long way towards development of new fuel cell technology that will help communities meet critical water needs by ensuring water treatment plants run on efficient, self-sustaining, and environmentally friendly energy,” Congressman Reynolds said. "NanoDynamics is quickly becoming a leader in cutting-edge nanotechnology and I'm pleased to support this funding in Western New York."
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.