In-situ, self-adjusting stability control of methane-producing anaerobic biological reactors through novel use of ion exchange fibers


In-Situ, Self-Adjusting Stability Control of Methane -Producing

Anaerobic Biological Reactors Through Novel Use of

Ion Exchange Fibers - An application of ion exchange fibers that enables

long term, stable MPABR use with minimal intervention and supervision.


The invention is a novel process that stabilizes pH Methane-Producing

Anaerobic Biological Reactors (MPABRs) without constant monitoring and

intervention through the use of Ion Exchange Fibers. It counters the pH-

related fluctuations in organic loadings and disruption of MPABRs caused

by heavy metal overloads, yielding operational stability and preventing the

failure of MPABRs due to detrimental changes in reactor pH. This change

in stability of MPABRs will enable them to be stable long-term, increasing

the value and convenience of environmentally-friendly wastewater



Competitive Advantage

This invention will make MPABRs more effective and stable with less

active monitoring and less disruption. Current MPABRs require constant

monitoring and adjustment for pH, the addition of various chemicals to

adjust pH, as well as monitoring for increased heavy metal presence in the

mix of feedstock for which the processors must compensate. This

invention addresses these problems by stabilizing pH and nullifying the

disruptive process of heavy metals. The resulting impact on MPABRs is a

significant reduction in the cost of using MPABRs and increase efficiency

by minimizing the need for adjustments to the balance of feedstock that are

currently necessary on a constant basis. The invention is self-replenishing

and will make MPABRs more cost effective and less to use in municipal

and industrial wastewater treatment.


Market Need/Opportunity

The MPABR market is growing due to a general demand for increased

water processing as related to the growing population. The Global Water

and Wastewater Treatment Equipment Market was valued at approximately

$38 billion in 2015, and will likely grow to more than $54 billion by 2020.

Its current rate of growth is at a CAGR of 7.4%, which is expected to

continue through 2020. The industry is tied to two thirds of all non-agricultural

water withdrawals worldwide. With both continued growth in demand and

worldwide priority placed on eco-friendly and fuel conserving wastewater

treatments, the MPABR market growth rate will likely exceed its portion of the

market on a year-by-year basis.



Lehigh University is looking for a partner for further development and

commercialization of this technology through a license. The inventor is

available to collaborate with interested companies.


Tech ID:




Arup K. SenGupta,

Derick G. Brown

Yu Tian




For Information, Contact:
Rick Smith
Lehigh University
Arup Sengupta
Derick Brown
Yu Tian