Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

NGEN Technologies

Main content start
NGEN Technologies Team

Nitrogen pollution from wastewater and agricultural runoff is a major environmental threat causing dead zones in oceans and other bodies of water. State and federal agencies are enacting stricter rules on nitrogen emissions, but conventional removal is energy intensive and expensive. Yaniv Scherson developed a low-cost process that converts nitrogen waste from wastewater into nitrous oxide gas, which the sewage plant can then use to boost power output from its generators.

With the support of TomKat's Innovation Transfer Program, Scherson went from a one-liter-a-day system in his Stanford laboratory to a pilot system processing 1,000 liters daily at the Delta Diablo water treatment facility. The pilot system also turned out to have the added benefit of removing phosphorous from wastewater as well. The project proved that the concept can work at large scale for a fraction of the capital cost and a considerably smaller operating cost. The results are featured in a Bay Area report sponsored by the U.S. EPA as a nitrogen solution for utilities, and Delta Diablo plans to operate the pilot independently.

Team Members

Yaniv Scherson (Postdoc, CEE) and Prof. Craig Criddle (CEE)

Learn more

Stanford researcher turns wastewater into energy that can power treatment plants March 2014

"Yaniv Scherson, Toxic Avenger": A profile of NGEN's founder January 2014

Wastewater treatment pilot to extract energy from ammonia in CA district November 2013

Stanford University, Delta Diablo Sanitation District boost size of renewable energy study October 2013

Pilot project to test new energy recovery process from wastewater nitrogen October 2013

Stanford University research comes to Antioch to explore a new frontier of renewable energy from wastewater October 2013

Recovering energy from nitrogen in wastewater October 2013