There is so much nature, as if it were springing up from a natural horn of plenty. A treasure that is seemingly without limit…it would be therefore be beneficial to transform it according to our needs and our ingenuity.
Not many people know how nature can regenerate, regulate and transform itself…
Indeed, this capacity is at the heart of the Ennesys system: certain phytoplankton (micro-algae) have a distinguishing feature; they can purify water by multiplying themselves. They simultaneously represent an excellent raw material for producing energy…
It was enough to observe, then cultivate, and finally apply this natural phenomenon. This is how it works, according to four key steps:
Firstly, wastewater and organic waste are collected.
Then, they are mixed in the presence of CO2 to create a stable and consistent culture medium, which will feed the phytoplankton culture (micro-algae) in closed basins called photo-bioreactors.
Depending on the wastewater/organic waste/CO2 ratio, the increase in micro-algae occurs by autotrophy, heterotrophy or mixotrophy.
• In autotrophy, microalgae are developed through photosynthesis in daylight and act as a cleaning agent by absorbing the CO2 and by feeding on the pollutants in wastewater. • In heterotrophy, the micro-algae are placed in fermentation tanks in contact with a culture medium mainly composed of organic waste; they act like bacteria, by breaking down the waste. The mixotrophic culture involves combining these two methods of cultivation in a potentially sequential manner, allowing growth with and without light. There are multiple advantages with regard to the most classical methods: • Its purification spectrum is larger (CO2 and organic waste) • It is quicker • It generates more algal biomass
Following their growth, the micro-algae are collected and separated from the water to obtain
• an algal biomass
• purified water.
The algal biomass, with a calorific value close to that of carbon, is used to locally supply energy sites (electric and thermal) thanks to different transformation processes, such as methanation or combustion. Purified water may be reused locally (toilet flushing, cleaning water, irrigation water…)
A FEW DATES
Ennesys prizewinner at the European Business Awards for the Environment 2014 under the “Technological innovation” category, receiving a mention for “International potential” with its FreeWaterBox
From the Sustainia Foundation’s list of 100 global sustainable solutions, Ennesys’ technology was rated best technology in the “Buildings” sector.
Ennesys wins the first prize at the KIC-Climat competition organised by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology,it awards start-up businesses focusing on innovative and economically viable projects, which could influence climate change.