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Food-Energy-Water Nexus towards Global
Sustainability
Wei Liao
Anaerobic Digestion Research and Education Center (ADREC)
Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
Michigan State University
January 14th, 2016
Food
NEXUS
WaterEnergy
Global
Sustainability
Food
Energy
Water
Facts of Food, Energy, and Water
 More than ONE THIRD of the energy consumed in the U.S. are used in
animal agriculture.
 Nearly HALF of the water used in the U.S. is for raising animals for
food.
 70% of the grain grown in the U.S. is fed to animals.
 The world’s cattle consume a quantity of food EQUAL to the caloric
needs of 8.7 BILLION people.
 Animals produce approximately 130 TIMES as much excrement as the
entire human population.
 Animal farms pollute our waterways more than all other industrial
sources COMBINED.
Separation
Technologies
Solar
technologies
Energy
Value-added
products
Organic Wastes
Other Residues
Clean water
Our Strategy
Synergistically integrating biological processes with solar and separation
technologies will create a technical strategy of food-energy-water nexus that
will make major contribution to global sustainability.
N/P fertilizers
Biological
processes
Research Efforts
1. Advanced solar-bio-nano-based system for water and energy generation
A. 40 ft container; B. 500 L anaerobic digesters; C. Control room; D. Fresnel solar thermal collectors (12
one m2 lenses); E. 100 L EC reactor; F. 20 L/min nano-filtration unit; G. 500 L potable water tank; H. 1 hp
centrifuge; I. Control panel; J. 15 hp boiler; K. 5 kw steam micro-turbine
A
D
B
C
E
H
F
I
G
J
K Inside the container Outside the container
A B D
K
E
I
Research Efforts
 Methane composition in the biogas from the pilot system is 65%, which is much higher
than that from the lab unit (55-60%).
 The H2S content is much lower (40 ppm) in the biogas from the pilot system.
 The final clean water contains 3 mg/L COD, 1.5 mg/L TN, 0.34 mg/L TP, and 1 NTU.
Biogas production
Water reclamation performance
a. The AD effluent, b. after the EC treatment, c.
after the nano-filtration
1. Advanced solar-bio-nano-based system for water and energy generation
Research Efforts
Solar powered bioreactor
2. Solar-bio-based power and wastewater treatment system in Central America *
Surface wetlandEngines Sand filter
*: The facility is located at UCR Fabio Experimental Station in Alajuela, Costa Rica
Organic
waste
Reclaimed
water
Anaerobic
digester
Sandfilter Wetland
Research Efforts
Inoculation
PHYCO2 algae photbioreactor
MSU Power plant Seed culture Project team
Algal growth
3. MSU power plant pilot algae cultivation system
My Colleagues
Dr. Susie Liu, Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University;
Dr. Terry Marsh, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University;
Dr. Jan Stevenson, Zoology, Michigan State University;
Dr. Abraham Engeda, Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University;
Dr. Ilsoon Lee, Chemical Engineering, Michigan State University;
Dr. Dana Kirk, Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University;
Dr. Ajit Srivastava, Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University;
Dr. Dawn Reinhold, Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University;
Dr. Sears Barbara, Plant Biology, Michigan State University;
Mr. Nathan Verhanovitz, Power Plant, Michigan State University;
Mr. Robert Ellerhorst, Power Plant, Michigan State University;
Dr. Steven Safferman, Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University;
Dr. Yinjie Tang, Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis;
Dr. Walter Mulbry, Environmental Management and Byproduct Utilization Laboratory, USDA-ARS,
Beltsville, MD;
WHA team, University of Costa Rica;
PHYCO2 Team
Acknowledgment
Financial Supports
The U.S. Department of Defense;
The U.S. Department of Transportation;
The U.S. Department of Agriculture;
The U.S. Department of State;
The U.S. National Science Foundation;
Foundations;
Private companies;
Michigan State Public Service Commission;
Michigan State Animal Agriculture Initiative;
Michigan State University Extension;
Michigan State AgBioResearch;
Michigan State University Vice President Office for Research and Graduate Study
Acknowledgement
The MSU Anaerobic Digestion Research and Education Center
Homepage: http://www.egr.msu.edu/bae/adrec/
Main building High-bay area Wet labs Hot room
CSTR system
(2000 m3, 0.5 MW)
Plug flow system
(1000 m3)
Algal race-way system
(1,600 m2 pond)
Solar panels

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Food-Energy-Water Nexus for Global Sustainability

  • 1. Food-Energy-Water Nexus towards Global Sustainability Wei Liao Anaerobic Digestion Research and Education Center (ADREC) Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Michigan State University January 14th, 2016 Food NEXUS WaterEnergy Global Sustainability Food Energy Water
  • 2. Facts of Food, Energy, and Water  More than ONE THIRD of the energy consumed in the U.S. are used in animal agriculture.  Nearly HALF of the water used in the U.S. is for raising animals for food.  70% of the grain grown in the U.S. is fed to animals.  The world’s cattle consume a quantity of food EQUAL to the caloric needs of 8.7 BILLION people.  Animals produce approximately 130 TIMES as much excrement as the entire human population.  Animal farms pollute our waterways more than all other industrial sources COMBINED.
  • 3. Separation Technologies Solar technologies Energy Value-added products Organic Wastes Other Residues Clean water Our Strategy Synergistically integrating biological processes with solar and separation technologies will create a technical strategy of food-energy-water nexus that will make major contribution to global sustainability. N/P fertilizers Biological processes
  • 4. Research Efforts 1. Advanced solar-bio-nano-based system for water and energy generation A. 40 ft container; B. 500 L anaerobic digesters; C. Control room; D. Fresnel solar thermal collectors (12 one m2 lenses); E. 100 L EC reactor; F. 20 L/min nano-filtration unit; G. 500 L potable water tank; H. 1 hp centrifuge; I. Control panel; J. 15 hp boiler; K. 5 kw steam micro-turbine A D B C E H F I G J K Inside the container Outside the container A B D K E I
  • 5. Research Efforts  Methane composition in the biogas from the pilot system is 65%, which is much higher than that from the lab unit (55-60%).  The H2S content is much lower (40 ppm) in the biogas from the pilot system.  The final clean water contains 3 mg/L COD, 1.5 mg/L TN, 0.34 mg/L TP, and 1 NTU. Biogas production Water reclamation performance a. The AD effluent, b. after the EC treatment, c. after the nano-filtration 1. Advanced solar-bio-nano-based system for water and energy generation
  • 6. Research Efforts Solar powered bioreactor 2. Solar-bio-based power and wastewater treatment system in Central America * Surface wetlandEngines Sand filter *: The facility is located at UCR Fabio Experimental Station in Alajuela, Costa Rica Organic waste Reclaimed water Anaerobic digester Sandfilter Wetland
  • 7. Research Efforts Inoculation PHYCO2 algae photbioreactor MSU Power plant Seed culture Project team Algal growth 3. MSU power plant pilot algae cultivation system
  • 8. My Colleagues Dr. Susie Liu, Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University; Dr. Terry Marsh, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University; Dr. Jan Stevenson, Zoology, Michigan State University; Dr. Abraham Engeda, Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University; Dr. Ilsoon Lee, Chemical Engineering, Michigan State University; Dr. Dana Kirk, Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University; Dr. Ajit Srivastava, Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University; Dr. Dawn Reinhold, Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University; Dr. Sears Barbara, Plant Biology, Michigan State University; Mr. Nathan Verhanovitz, Power Plant, Michigan State University; Mr. Robert Ellerhorst, Power Plant, Michigan State University; Dr. Steven Safferman, Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University; Dr. Yinjie Tang, Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis; Dr. Walter Mulbry, Environmental Management and Byproduct Utilization Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD; WHA team, University of Costa Rica; PHYCO2 Team Acknowledgment
  • 9. Financial Supports The U.S. Department of Defense; The U.S. Department of Transportation; The U.S. Department of Agriculture; The U.S. Department of State; The U.S. National Science Foundation; Foundations; Private companies; Michigan State Public Service Commission; Michigan State Animal Agriculture Initiative; Michigan State University Extension; Michigan State AgBioResearch; Michigan State University Vice President Office for Research and Graduate Study Acknowledgement
  • 10. The MSU Anaerobic Digestion Research and Education Center Homepage: http://www.egr.msu.edu/bae/adrec/ Main building High-bay area Wet labs Hot room CSTR system (2000 m3, 0.5 MW) Plug flow system (1000 m3) Algal race-way system (1,600 m2 pond) Solar panels